Jewish Museum of Toledo
Museo Sefardí was created by Royal Decree in 1964 and is housed in a historical building, the synagogue of Samuel ha-Leví, in the Jewish Quarter in Toledo. In 1968 it was officially named “The National Museum for Hispanic-Hebraic Art”. It is a national museum, which preserves the Hispanic-Hebraic legacy and is governed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.
The changing needs of the museum required the building to undergo renovation between 1984 and 1994. In 2001 there was another significant renovation programme of the building, which led to its reopening on 17th November 2004 by HRH the Prince of Asturias.
In the past few years, the museum has mainly focused on facilitating access to those visitors with disabilities. We have also introduced new ways of communicating with our visitors and have made the museum in to a web 2.0 space.
The Spanish term “sefardíes” of Sephardim is used specifically for the descendants of the Jews of Sepharad from their expulsion at the end of the Middle Ages up until the present day. Sefardic families and the Israel Antiquities Authority donated the main group of our pieces of work. The rooms of the museum, as well as the rest of the synagogue, were formally the archives for the Orders of the Knights of Calatrava and Alcántara. The layout of the Museum is based on archeological and artistical remains of sefardic communities. It attempts to offer the widest possible overview of the history of the Jews in Spain, from the former communities in the near East, to the latter ones under the Catholic Monarchs.