(JTA) — A Spanish town which is in the process of changing its name because it contains the words “kill Jews” is promoting plans to open a Jewish studies center.
Lorenzo Rodriguez, the mayor of the town of Castrillo Matajudios in northern Spain, was scheduled to present the plan at a meeting Wednesday at the seat of the local government in the city of Leon, Radio Arlanzon reported.
In addition to opening a center for studies on the culture of the Sephardim – Spanish Jews who converted to Christianity or left the Iberian Peninsula because of persecutions during the Spanish Inquisition, Rodriguez is also seeking to initiate archaeological excavations that he said would help clarify how his town of a few dozen families came to be receive its controversial name.
On May 25, a majority of residents present at a town hall meeting voted in favor of changing the name to Castrillo Mota Judios, meaning “camp Jews’ hill.” Rodriguez, who initiated the vote, believes this was the town’s original name because it had a sizeable Jewish contingent, but that it was changed during or before the Inquisition.
The intention to change the town’s name was recently published in the region’s official publication. If no one objects to the proposal within one month of the publication, then the town may file for an official name change with the district.