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‎2 Elul 5777 | ‎23/08/2017

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Castrillo: An Old Town Changes its (Shameful) Name, with Miguel de Lucas

Castrillo: An Old Town Changes its (Shameful) Name, with Miguel de Lucas

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What is the meaning of the word “castrillo” in old Spanish?

There is a small village in Castille, about 150 miles (250 kilometers) to the northeast of Madrid, which was founded in 1035, when Jews fleeing from a pogrom in a nearby town settled there. The village was originally named Castrillo Motajudíos, (“Settlement of the Hill of the Jews”), and kept that name until it was changed centuries later to Castrillo Matajudíos (“Jew-killers”), because of religious persecution in Spain. A recent campaign initiated by the town’s mayor, Lorenzo Rodríguez, led to a referendum to change the name back to its original one, and the sign at the entrance to the village was formally changed in a ceremony held last month. We spoke with Miguel de Lucas, the Director General of Centro Sefarad-Israel, about the history of the name change and the official ceremony.