The opening of the latest rooms of the Museum of Jewish History a few weeks ago has completed a long and gradual process of retrieving the memory of the Jewish community of Girona. The aim was to transform the old building in the call into a centre of knowledge and culture dedicated to this call, to the aljama and to the social, cultural and religious heritage of the Jews amongst us.
This process, which consisted in transforming "Isaac el Cec", -the centre recovered by Josep Tarrés-, into a new cultural centre, has not always been thoroughly understood by the citizens, who, at a certain moment, had considered the transformation a loss for the leisure offer of the Old Quarter. But it should be remembered that it was a question of financial salvation, of heritage integration and recovery, of architectural restoration and cultural claims.
Thus culminates a cultural project which fits in with a more global approach of a city that has always wanted history, heritage and cultural legacy to form its identity. Therefore it made all the sense in the world to set up the Bonastruc ça Porta Centre, which was to house, as it now does, the Museum of Jewish History and the Institute for Nahmanian Studies, with its specialized library. This gradual process has made possible retrieving funds, acquiring heritage and receiving donations, as well as the signing of a crucial agreement with the Catalan Government for depositing the Hebrew tombstones of the city at the Museum. These have become the centre of the museologic discourse of a museum featuring a culture that is so spiritual that it hasn't left any material traces besides those related to life and death, and the documents linked to the economical activities of the community. The legacy of their doctrine, spirit, philosophy and religion has travelled with the Diaspora and has accompanied the pilgrimage of a people all over the world. But on this pilgrimage, Girona now has become a milestone and a reference that achieves the integration of the diversity of its heritage and its traditions through a consistent discourse.
Now is the beginning of a new stage, with less architecture and more perseverance and continuity. Now is the moment for establishing a solid and mature policy in order to create a tradition of knowledge around the Institute, the library, the museum and the collections of Judaica that rely on it.
Let us celebrate and enjoy this definitive step of consolidation, let us evaluate positively and constructively what we have achieved and let us start to work the future.
Counselor of Territorial Politics and Public Works