The Commission for Jewish Heritage in Catalonia, Spain – which comprises communal leaders from Chabad, Orthodox and Reform, have made it possible for human bones dating back to the Middle Ages to be reburied in a Barcelona cemetery.
The bones were discovered during the building of a new residential complex in Tarrega, Spain. Its proximity to the town’s old Jewish quarter, and rings with Hebrew names discovered within the tombs are evidence that the construction site was a Jewish cemetery dating back to before the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, reports the JTA.
Without the intervention of the Commission for Jewish Heritage, the bones would have been sent to research labs for analysis; something which is forbidden according to Jewish law.
"We were unable to stop the excavations, but we did succeed in getting the bones buried in a Jewish cemetery to guarantee their eternal rest," said Dominique Tomasov, an architect and prominent community activist.
Plans are now in progress to identify the locations of ancient Jewish cemeteries, and the Commission is working with the Spanish government to prevent future excavations of Jewish cemeteries.