Spain / Andalusia


Monument to Ibn Gavirol in Malaga ©Daniel Villafruela

The Jews lived under Arab occupation in Malaga from 743. They settled in the neighborhoods on the periphery in the company of the very active traders of Genoa.

At the fall of the caliphate of Cordoba the city hosted many Jewish refugees including Samuel Ibn Negrella who then began his meteoric rise and later became the advisor to the Arab kingdom of Granada. In the eleventh century, there were 200 Jews in Malaga. In 1487, after the conquest by the Catholic Kings, the population of 450 Jews was deported to Carmona. The Jewish communities of Castile payed a ransom to release them. Abraham Senior and Meir Melamed were responsible for raising the money. Once released they returned to Malaga but will be five years later expelled to North Africa.

The judería is at the foot of the  Alcazaba Fortress. A small set of streets:  Granada,  Zegri,  Santiago, gives us an idea of Jewish life. In  Postigo Street of San Agustin was the synagogue. In the 1970s on this site was erected a monument to the poet Solomon ibn Gabirol born in Malaga around 1021.

The Jewish community was reconstituted in the twentieth century with the arrival of many Jews from northern Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla. In 1950, there were 250 Jews, in 2000, about 1500. There is a modern  synagogue with all services: primary school, kosher butcher, cemetery.