(JNS.org) The Council of Sephardi and Oriental Communities of Jerusalem has awarded an American professor with the “Medal of the Four Sephardi Synagogues” for his research on the Jewish history of Zamora, Spain. Prof. Jesús Jambrina was recognized for his achievements to preserve the Medieval Jewish quarters of the city of Zamora and his “organization of two outstanding international conferences,” in Zamora and Portugal in 2013 and 2014, respectively, said Prof. Abraham Haim, president of the awarding council.
The province of Zamora and the city of the same name are situated close to the Spanish border with Portugal. Jews settled in Zamora after escaping there from Moorish invasions in the 11th and 12th centuries, as well as due to King Fernando I’s repopulation of the region in the mid-11th century. Later, many Zamoran Jews fled this area due to the Spanish Inquisition, settling in the Middle East, North and South Africa, and other places. Today, many Sephardi Jews know their families came from this region of Spain, often based solely on their last names, such as Aboab, Arama, Corcos, De Leon, Saba, Valensi, and Habib.