Since 2018, the municipality of Híjar and the Foundation for Jewish Heritage have been collaborating on an ambitious recovery project for the medieval Synagogue and Jewish Quarter of Híjar (Spain).
The Foundation facilitated the submission of Hijar synagogue for the Europa Nostra ‘7 most endangered sites of Europe’ award and the site was shortlisted.
Recently, the Foundation for Jewish Heritage was commissioned by the municipality to create a master plan which will be the roadmap for future actions.
The project is ambitious and covers several areas such as heritage recovery, educational programmes, tourism development, cultural activities and urban planning, pivoting around the historic synagogue and a proposed future cultural heritage centre about the Jews from Híjar and the Sephardic legacy.
The municipality continues making steps towards the master plan goals. In this regard, 500,000 euros from European Union Funds have been allocated to Híjar by the Department of Territorial Articulation, Mobility and Housing of the Government of Aragon. These funds are part of the Programs of Residential Restoration and Social Housing from the Recovery, Transformation and Resiliency plan of the Department.
These funds will be specifically used to restore houses and improve the infrastructure of the Jewish Quarter (Barrio de San Antón).
Luis Carlos Marquesán, mayor of Híjar said: “We have a very clear goal: this is the restoration of the judería area, and we go step by step. We needed support and this is it: with 500,000 euros we can plan more ambitious actions”.
Michael Mail, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage stated: ‘there are very few synagogues that survived from the medieval period which makes Hijar’s synagogue, with its unique wall murals, all the more remarkable. We applaud the mayor’s exciting vision for the future use of the building and are delighted to be playing a role in developing the project.
Lucía Conte said: “The allocation of this funds is a stimulus to continue working on this project because it proves that the recovery of the Jewish past in Híjar is feasible and a powerful tool to improve the neighbourhood and to benefit the present day community in a number of ways”.
This funding represents an important boost to the project which will hopefully lead to a successful recovery of the Synagogue and Jewish Quarter.
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