Llorenç Gelabert , Mayor of Sa Pobla, supports the dissemination of Jewish culture in Mallorca

Jul 26, 2021 | Current affairs, Featured

Sa Congregació was this week the chosen venue for the screening of the film “Xuetas Island”.

The presentation was attended by the mayor of Sa Pobla, Llorenç Gelabert, and the councillor for communication, commerce, industry and market, Pedrona Seguí.

For an hour we plunged into the past, present and future of the Jews in Mallorca known as Xuetas.

Repression, torture, burnings and other repressive acts have marked the path of the Crypto-Jews – and their Catholic descandants called “Xuetas” – for centuries, since their forced conversion from Judiasm to Christianity.

Being an island, the peculiarity of the environment has been maintained, which gives this community a unique and unrepeatable personality and characteristics. As Confucius said: “a people that does not know its history is condemned to repeat it”.

Of the peculiarities and without wishing to be a spoiler, we will highlight the following:

– The origin of the expression “to make a Sabbath” comes from a long time ago. The origin of the expression “to make a Sabbath” may come from the hypothesis, that as it was the day on which the converted Jews opened their houses showing that they were working in it, to prevent the rest of the neighbours from believing that they were praying.

– The gastronomy includes the twisted ensaimada, which may have Jewish roots, and the addition of lard to the ensaimada meant salvation.

– The most dramatic touch alludes to the phrase “oblivion is not an option” and focuses on the murders that took place on the 6th of May 1691, in the Plaza Gomila in Palma. Caterina Tarongí, Rafel Valls and Rafel Tarongí were burnt at the stake. Guilty for having the Jewish faith. It was popularly known by the name of Sa Cremadissa and is considered one of the most violent acts of religious intolerance in Mallorca.

The new generations are not very interested in the Jewish origin of their surname. They express the arrival of the origins of their surnames through academic channels.

The documentary was created by an American and two Israelis and a Mallorcan. The directing team of Dani Rotstein, Felipe Wolokita and Ofer Laszewicki are in charge of bringing this project to the big screen. With the support of one of the film’s characters Miquel Segura, the Sa Pobla screening was organized along with more screenings throughout the island this summer. For more information on future screenings please visit


For just over 60 minutes, we listened to the protagonists recount their experiences in their mother tongues. Thus, Mallorcan, Spanish and English, subtitled in Spanish, capture the essence of this millenary culture. A great success on the part of the producer, the cultural association named Limud Mallorca, as they contextualise the expressions and make us all identify in some way with a reality that has occurred and is latent on our island.