US/World News

Spain close to granting citizenship to Sephardic Jews

(JNS.org) Spain moved closer to approving legislation aimed at granting citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled during the Spanish Inquisition. Last week, the Spanish parliament approved the law, which will now head to the Spanish senate for consideration. The law is expected to go into effect in May, with the citizenship-application process beginning at the end of 2015. According to the draft law, the applicants would first need to prove their Sephardic background through either their local Jewish community or a direct family link. Authorities also may accept applicants with a Sephardic surname or the ability to speak Ladino, the Spanish-Hebrew hybrid language. Next, the applicants would need to show a special connection to Spain such as speaking Spanish, in addition to taking a basic test about the country.

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