Where is Spain’s Oldest Synagogue?

Not surprisingly, it lies in the ancient capital of Spain, Toledo. Although it was built around 1180, and improved in 1260 to make it the central synagogue, Jewish worship only filled the space for 211 of the 839 years it's existed. The temple was one of ten in that city before the 1400s. Currently only … Continue reading Where is Spain’s Oldest Synagogue?

Seven Cities to See in Spain

How did I pick only seven? I haven't been to Northwestern or Southeastern Spain, yet! I find places where a mix of cultures has left their mark interesting to explore. Andalucía shines for the eight centuries of convivencia, the peaceful co-existing of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish people in Spain. Several of my favorite sights are … Continue reading Seven Cities to See in Spain

The Last Time I Drank Sangría

A velvet evening in rural La Mancha frolicking with a one-ton baby bull. What could go wrong? Three dozen of us from the Toledo program sat on a ranch patio drinking fruity red wine sangría. The main attraction was a Spanish capea; playing hide-and-go-seek with a bull no taller than our chests in a mini … Continue reading The Last Time I Drank Sangría

Conquered by Food

When I traveled to Spain, I thought the food might resemble Mexican cuisine with its spiciness. However, black pepper was the most piquant seasoning in the Fundación Ortega y Gasset kitchen in Toledo. I was happy not to burn my tongue, but my Mexican roommate imported a suitcase full of hot sauce to survive the … Continue reading Conquered by Food

Aztec Silver

San Juan de la Penitencia dormitory was where I lived in Toledo, Spain. I knew the former convent was built before my parents’ house (1930). I visited the El Greco Museum and was amazed to recognize the curved portico balcony of the convent in his “View and Plan of Toledo” (1610-1614). San Juan de la … Continue reading Aztec Silver