- Written by Spain Embassy
LAW OF SPANISH CITIZENSHIP FOR THE SEPHARDIM
Minister of Justice: “Spain closed a door in 1492. This door fully reopens the 1st October 2015”. “Spain is today an open, inclusive, tolerant society”.
Recognition of the outstanding importance of the Sephardim in our history and culture.
Why this law? It is the recognition of a unique case. The Sephardim kept Spain in their hearts for five centuries. When they left Spain they scattered, frequently in small, non-connected communities around the world. But until now they have maintained their memories, songs, language, traditions, prayers and, very significantly, their nostalgia for Sepharad.
Key elements of the law
Unanimity on this law. Support of all the political parties in the Spanish Parliament. Shows Spanish people commitment with the Sephardim
This law has the full support of the Spanish Jewish Community.
This is a unique case. When offering nationality, usually countries require that at least the grandparents are nationals. In this case, it is more than 500 years up the family. Only two countries have managed to do this: Spain and Portugal.
The Sephardim will no longer have to move their residence and renounce their previous nationality.
Why now? This law does not come out of the blue. It culminates a path full of gestures:
19th Century, under Isabel II: Jews are allowed to have their own cemeteries.
In 1900 Jews recovered their right to open synagogues in Spain.
1924: the Sephardim are offered Spanish citizenship by law for the first time. Later on, during the Second World War, Spanish diplomats in Europe used this law to save thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. Some have become “Righteous among Nations”.
1981: Law stating that the Sephardim only have to reside in Spain for two years to obtain citizenship (general rule is 10 years).
1990: Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, handed by today’s king Felive VI.
1992: King Juan Carlos, visited the Synagogue of Madrid and declared: “Sepharad is no longer a nostalgia, but a house where Jews should not feel at home. Because they are at home”.
Two material requirements: Applicants will have to prove:
Sephardim of Spanish origin: “Sephardim” has a broad meaning in Israel. This law applies to the descendants of the Spanish Jews that where expelled from Spain in 1492, regardless of their current religion or residence. The law mentions an open list of possible means of evidence that will be considered globally:
certificates of rabbis or Jewish community Leaders or Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain
the language Ladino or Haketia
The use of “ketubah” under the laws of Castilla
The family names, as long as a competent authority is able to link them to the Spanish Sephardim.
Special relation with Spain.
Official studies related to Spanish history and culture
Language Haketia or Ladino.
Philantropic, cultural or economic activities in benefit of Spain or in benefit of the study of the Sephardi culture.
Exams: candidates will have to go through exams of basic level of Spanish language and Spanish culture, organized by the Cervantes Institute. There are exceptions: for minors and handicapped people. Nationals of countries where Spanish is an official language (i.e. Argentina) won’t need the Spanish exam.
Process: For the first time, the application will be done online (the website is not open yet). The application and all the documents will be sent directly to the relevant authorities through the internet. Payment of a 100 euro fee. Then, applicants will have to travel to Spain once, to appear before a Spanish notary. After that, within 12 months they will receive the final decision and the rest (registering as Spaniards and obtaining the passport) can be done at Embassies or Consulates. Clarification: Only those who have a positive pre-evaluation will have to travel to Madrid. In other words: only those who are likely to succeed will have to do the trip.
It will be in effect on 1st October 2015, for 3 years + 1 extra year upon Government decision.
Complete applications will be decided upon in 12 months (maximum).
The law will be forever in effect for extraordinary cases or when there are humanitarian reasons.
- Written by Regional Cooperation Ministry
Regional Cooperation Minister Silvan Shalom, today (Thursday, 26 February 2015), signed the 'Seas Canal' agreement with Jordanian Water and Irrigation Minister Hazim El-Naser at a ceremony attended by dignitaries from both sides as well as representatives from the World Bank and the US embassies in Israel and Jordan.
The agreement sets relations between Israel and Jordan regarding implementation of the first stage of the 'Seas Canal' project, including the construction of a desalination plant north of Aqaba that would supply water to the Aravah region in Israel and to Aqaba in Jordan. Residual saline brines will be piped to the Dead Sea via an approximately 200-km pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in order to stabilize and save the latter. In the framework of the agreement, water from northern Israel will be piped to Amman. The effect of the process on the Dead Sea, as well as other environmental affects, will be monitored and studied.
Jordanian Minister El-Naser said that Jordan welcomed the cooperation that would lead to the strengthening of bilateral links and facilitate joint dealing with the water problem in the region.
Minister Shalom said, "I stand here very moved by this historic signing of an agreement on a joint project to build a canal between the seas. Today we are realizing the vision of Binyamin Zeev Herzl, the father of the state, who in the late 19th century saw the need to revive the Dead Sea. This is the most important and significant agreement since the peace treaty with Jordan. This is the peak of fruitful and very good cooperation between Israel and Jordan and will assist in rehabilitating the Dead Sea and in resolving water issues in Jordan and the Aravah."
Israeli and Jordanian representatives at the signing of the agreement. Photo by Israel's Ministry for Regional Cooperation
- Written by Bahai Org
New international website of the Baha'i community launched
HAIFA, 20 January 2015, (BWNS) — The website of the worldwide Baha'i community at www.bahai.org has been launched in a new version, representing the latest stage in the development of an official presence on the Web that extends back to 1996. The site explores the beliefs and writings of the Baha'i Faith and presents the experience of those throughout the world who, inspired by the teachings of Baha'u'llah, are striving to contribute to the betterment of society.
The revised site highlights two broad sections – "What Baha'is Believe" and "What Baha'is Do" – and features a new presentation of the Baha'i Reference Library.
The section entitled "What Baha'is Believe" aims to organize a selection of central beliefs of the Baha'i Faith into a few thematic areas, such as The Life of the Spirit, God and His Creation, and Universal Peace. "What Baha'is Do" explores how Baha'is, together with those who share their aspirations, are working for social progress.
The site also includes a new version of the Baha'i Reference Library, the authoritative online source of the Baha'i writings, containing selected works of Baha'u'llah, The Bab, 'Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, and the Universal House of Justice, as well as other Baha'i texts.
To read the article online, view photographs and access links:
For the Baha'i World News Service home page, go to:
- Written by Romanian Embassy
On February 17, it had been launched in the city of Rehovot the first Romanian kindergarten from Israel. The project is organized by the Hitachtud Olei Romania (HOR) in Rehovot, with the support of the Romanian Embassy in Israel and the Department for Romanians Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania.
The event was opened by Andreea Păstârnac, the Romanian ambassador to Israel and Zeev Schwartz, the president of HOR Israel and Clarisa Steinberg, the President of HOR Rehovot. Sixty people participated to this event, mostly representatives of the first and second generations of Israelis born in Romania whose children or grandchildren are already part of the first kindergarten class.
The Romanian Kindergarten class meets weekly under the direction of a Romanian language teacher and already has 19 children enrolled, with ages between 5 and 9 years old. During their first class, the children were taught the first basics of Romanian language and received their first Abecedar – the bedrock handbook of the Romanian language.
This project is addressed to the children of the third and second generations of Israeli citizens originating from Romania. Its objective is to teach the new generations about the general elements of the Romanian culture as well as the basic Romanian language skills, in the same time keeping active the people who have volunteered to support this initiative.
- Written by Ministry of Defense
"Ofek 10" Satellite has entered orbit and begun transmitting data and visual material
The research and development department (MAFAT) of Israel's Ministry of Defense in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI Ltd.) launched this evening Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 22:15 hrs, "Ofek 10" satellite into space. The satellite was launched into orbit by a "Shavit" satellite launcher from an Israeli Air Force test range.
In the early hours of Thursday, April 10, 2014 according to plan, the satellite entered its orbit around the Earth, and underwent a series of tests to confirm its serviceability and accurate performance. The satellite then began transmitting data and visual material to Earth. Engineers from MAFAT – Ministry of Defense with engineers from Israel Aerospace Industries are continuing to perform a series of planned tests until the satellite begins operational service.
"Ofek 10" is an observation remote-sensing satellite that employs synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology with advanced "high-resolution" imagery, capable of operating day or night and in all weather conditions. "Ofek 10" was developed on previous experience accrued during the development and production of the "Ofek" series of advanced satellites, the first of which was launched in 1988.
The "Ofek 10" satellite was launched into orbit by the "Shavit" multi-stage satellite launcher. The satellite "Ofek 10" as well as the "Shavit" satellite launcher were developed and produced by Israel's Ministry of Defense, through its R&D Department (MAFAAT). The primary contractor is Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI Ltd). In addition, a number of other
Israeli companies cooperated in its development and production, including Rafael, Spectralink from Elbit Systems, Rokar, and Israel Military Industries. Branches of the Israel Defense Forces were also involved including the Intelligence Branch and the Air Force.