02 March 2007
A Jewish museum has been inaugurated in the Spanish capital Madrid on the 90th anniversary of the opening of the city's first synagogue. Jewish leaders and local politicians attended the opening of the Museum of the History of the Jewish Community of Madrid. Among those taking part in the ceremony were Jacobo Israel Garzon, president of the Spanish Jewish community; Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Autonomous Region of Madrid; city mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, and Victor Harel, Israel's ambassador to Spain. Garzon described the new museum as “a house of memory holding not only a part of the memory of the Jewish community but also the memory of Madrid.” Aguirre added that “the 90 years which have passed since the construction of the first synagogue have been very hard in that there never lacked moments of persecution,” but that Madrid was now a place where Jews could live in freedom. Mayor Ruiz-Gallardón said that the city welcomed the new museum “as an outlet of conscience forming a part of our identity” and mentioned that Madrid “had dedicated various spaces to the memory of a distinguished Jew, Yitzhak Rabin”.