‘Make room for us! The Jewish people are part of the network that created this country, this nation. We have roots in this land, and no one acknowledges them’, Dominique Tomasov asserts. The trained architect has redirected her expertise into ‘trying to get more respect’ for the Jewish community through revitalising Barcelona’s awareness of their Jewish Heritage, that she fears will otherwise be ‘forgotten’. The protection of the archeological remains of Spain’s Jewish heritage is central to Dominique’s mission: she founded Zakhor in 2005, a small NGO that successfully campaigned for the Jewish cemetery of Monjüic to be officially designated as a Historical Landmark, granted in 2007.
The Spanish government issued a Right of Return law last year that grants citizenship to Sephardic Jews who can prove their Spanish origins prior to the Inquisition. However, Dominique Tomasov feels frustrated at the lack of knowledge regarding Spain’s present and historical Jewish communities. Following their mass expulsion within the Inquisition of the late 15th century, Spain’s Jewish community has become one of the smallest within Europe.
Dominique associates the lack of knowledge regarding the Jewish people and their history with Spain’s anti-semitism. Members of Dominique’s Reformist congregation express their sense of vilification under Spain’s prominent anti-Israel movements, through the common conflation of Judaism with Pro-Israeli politics. Dominique feels that only through education concerning Spain’s Jewish community, within the past and present, will there be a growing cultural sensitivity regarding Jews and a new space for their self-determination within present day Spain.