TOC Edited Volume: "Reparative Citizenship for Sephardi Descendants: Returning to the Jewish Past in Spain and Portugal."

Dalia Kandiyoti Discussion

Reparative Citizenship for Sephardi DescendantsReturning to the Jewish Past in Spain and Portugal. 


Edited by Dalia Kandiyoti and Rina Benmayor. Oxford, NY: Berghahn Books, 2023


Why did Spain and Portugal create special laws in 2015 offering citizenship to the descendants of Sephardi Jews expelled from or forcibly converted in the Iberian Peninsula more than 500 years ago? What historical and current circumstances have led to these laws? Who are the potential beneficiaries, and how have they reacted to the laws?

These are some of the questions that are addressed in this first academic book about the special nationality laws. In addition to 11 scholarly articles, the book is also distinguished by the inclusion of five personal essays about Sephardi identity, the process of application, and much more. The authors hail from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, the U.S., the U.K., and Venezuela.  Among the fields represented in this interdisciplinary collection are legal studies, anthropology, history, memory studies, oral history, Sephardi studies, and political science.




Sephardi Jews, Citizenship, and Reparation in Historical Context  

Dalia Kandiyoti and Rina Benmayor

Part I. Reparation and Reconciliation? Legal and Political Perspectives on the 2015 Laws

1. “Reparative Citizenship”: Confronting Injustices of the Past or Building Modern Nationalisms?  

Alfons Aragoneses

2. Beyond Reparatory Justice: The Portuguese “Law of Return” as Nation Branding  
Isabel David and Gabriela Anouck Côrte-Real Pinto

3. Reparations in Spanish Parliamentary Debates about the 2015 Nationality Law for Descendants of Sephardi Jews  
Davide Aliberti

4. Personal Essay: Passport to the Past, Passport to the Future 
Colette Capriles


Part 2. Roots of “Returns”: Early Uses of Jewish and Muslim History

5. “Spaniards We Were, Spaniards We Are, and Spaniards We Will Be”: Salonica’s Sephardic Jews and the Instrumentalization of the Spanish Past, 1898–1944  

Devin E. Naar


6. “Spanish Jews” and “Friendly Muslims”: The Historical Absence of a Citizenship Campaign for Muslims of Iberian Descent  

Elisabeth Bolorinos Allard

7. Personal Essay: The Story of a Spanish Dönme  

Uluç Özüyener


Part 3. Negotiating the Present: Between States and Official Communities

8. Moriscos Andalusíes: Historical Reparation, Reconciliation,
and the Duty of Memory  

Elena Arigita and Laura Galián

9. Negotiating Historical Redress: The Spanish Law of Nationality for Sephardi Descendants and Spain’s Jewish Communities 
Daniela Flesler and Michal Rose Friedman

10. Personal Essay: “Congratulations, You Are Portuguese!” Reflections on Identity and Nationality

Rita Ender

11. Personal Essay: Sefarad Postponed
Ruth Behar


Part 4. Sephardi Descendants: Emotions, Identities, and Bureaucracies

12. “La Nostalgia de Sefarad Tira Mucho, Pero No Tanto”: Attachment,

Sentiment, and the Ethics of Refusal  

Charles A. McDonald

13. Affective Citizenship and Iberian Sephardi Descendants

Rina Benmayor

14. Descendants of Conversos in the Americas: The Ancestral Past, Sephardi Identity, and Citizenship in Spain and Portugal  
Dalia Kandiyoti

15. Portuguese Citizenship for Brazilian Descendants of Sephardic Jews: A Netnography  

Marina Pignatelli

Appendix. Certifying Origins for Sephardic Descendants in
Portugal: A Snapshot of the Evaluation Process 295
Teresa Santos and Heraldo Bento

16. Personal Essay: The Fez in the Water—Exile and Return 304
Victor Silverman

Coda. Directions in Citizenship and Historical Repair 315
Dalia Kandiyoti and Rina Benmayor