Spanish village that changed name from Kill Jews twins with Israeli town

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The Spanish village formerly known as Kill Jews Town is twinning with an Israeli town.

On Sunday, Kfar Vradim in northern Israel hosted officials from Castrillo Mota de Judios, or Castrillo Jews’ Hill, for a ceremony to make the relationship official.

As part of the relationship, the towns will promote cultural, tourist and commercial ties with each other, The Associated Press reported.

Castrillo Jews’ Hill Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez, who in 2014 submitted the proposal to return the town in northern Spain to its original name, attended the signing ceremony, as did the Spanish ambassador to Israel, Fernando Cardera, the AP reported.

“We’re here in the Promised Land to safeguard the roots of the town, established in 1035,”  Rodriguez said at the ceremony.

The name of the village was changed to Castrillo Matajudíos, or Kill Jews Town, during the Spanish Inquisition in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. In June, the town used its new name of Castrillo Mota de Judios in the official state gazette. The name change was approved by the regional government of Castilla y Leon.

No Jews currently live in the Spanish village, but a Star of David can be found on its official shield. A massacre of Jewish people is believed to have taken place near the town in 1035, while another massacre happened inside the village in 1109.

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