US/World News

Spain grants citizenship to 4,302 Sephardic Jews

(JNS.org) Spain’s government has officially granted citizenship to 4,302 Sephardic Jews as part of a new law granting citizenship to the descendants of Jews who were exiled during the Spanish Inquisition. According to Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala, the naturalizations were approved a day after the new citizenship law took effect. Spain’s Federation of Jewish Communities praised the law and said that most of its citizenship applicants have come from Morocco, Turkey, and Venezuela. Earlier this year, Spain’s parliament approved the groundbreaking law, under which applicants first need to prove their Sephardic background through either their local Jewish community or a direct family link. Authorities may also accept applicants with a Sephardic surname or the ability to speak Ladino, the Spanish-Hebrew hybrid language. Next, the applicants 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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