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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sephardic Heritage Trip 2018/5778: Day 1

On Monday night, twenty six seniors took off for Spain, Morocco, and Gibraltar for the  Sephardic Heritage trip. After getting off the plane from New York to Spain, we went straight into touring.
Our first stop was the beautiful medieval city of Toledo. We took the one of the longest escalators in the world up to the old city where we visited the stunning El Transito Synagogue which was built by Shmuel Halevi in about 1356. Words of Tehillim are engraved all around the magnificent inlaid wood ceiling. We also saw medieval Jewish tombstones. 
Then we got to observe gold thread jewelry making before heading to see the awe-inspiring Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue. This ancient synagogue was built in 1180 and reflects the local Muslim architecture. Though it’s currently owned by the church, it is considered to be the oldest shul in Europe still standing.
Then we went zip lining over the Tagus River at the entrance to the old city of Toledo.
We then went to Madrid and saw the Plaza Mayor, the site of many auto da fes where victims of the inquisition were burned alive. We said a chapter of Tehillim in the memory of the Jews killed there.
Our last stop was Pinati Madrid - a kosher restaurant where we had a delicious dinner! After such a long day we were very happy to check into the beautiful Novotel Madrid for the night.