Jewish Heritage Europe

Andorra

Andorra

Tiny, landlocked Andorra,  situated in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, prospers as a tourist destination and a tax haven, and many foreigners have established homes there.

The Jewish history and culture of Andorra is closely tied to that of Spain, and especially Catalonia. Judaism was practically nonexistent from the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian peninsula in the 1490s until the 19th century, when Jews were again permitted to enter, albeit in small numbers.

Perhaps the best known Jewish connection with Andorra has nothing to with the reality of the country. In 1961 the Swiss writer Max Frisch (1911-1991) wrote the play Andorraabout anti-Semitism and its consequences. Frisch’s Andorra, however, is an entirely imaginary realm.

Today an estimated 100 or so Jews reside in Andorra. Most are from Morocco, with others from Argentina, Spain, Israel and elsewhere. A Jewish cultural association, Associació Cultural Israelita de les Valls d’ Andorra (ACIV), was established in 1998 (before that laws forbade any other religious organization other that Catholic), and a small synagogue was opened in 2000 in the capital, Andorra La Vella.

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