The NYT reports that an Israeli Beit Din has handed down a broad ruling on the Jewishness of Majorcan community:
PARIS — Centuries after the Spanish Inquisition led to the forced conversion of Jews to Catholicism, an ultra-orthodox rabbinical court in Israel has issued a religious ruling that recognizes descendants from the insular island of Majorca as Jews.The opinion focused narrowly on the Majorcan community of about 20,000 people known as chuetas and did not apply to descendants of Sephardic Jewish converts in mainland Spain or the broader diaspora of thousands of others who scattered to the Ottoman Empire and the Spanish colonies in South and North America.
Arutz Sheva has a brief quote from the Psak Din:
It should be pointed out that this Isn't an officially recognized Psak din. However, if a Ultra Orthodox Beit din is willing to accept them as Jewish, one can only suppose that the official Rabbinical courts will come to a similar decision. I can't help but point out the irony, that the ultra-orthodox are willing to accept Jews who have for some centuries have had to at the very least pretend to be Christians, but are not willing to accept Jews converted by the IDF.
In another non related story, YNET is reporting on an Italian synagogue that had been a church for the last 800 years, and has now been returned to its original purpose - with the christian artwork being hidden behind a curtain.