Tal went on to say that he had been struck by “the admiration that Mexican Jews feel towards the country in which they live, the country that has opened its arms to their ancestors, giving them the same opportunity to study, do business, and to succeed.”
The president of the Centro Deportivo Israelita’s Board of Directors, Isaac Roizen, said, “500 years of expulsion, forced conversion, search for new horizons, flight, conquest and resistance … certainly deserve an essential and necessary commemoration.”
He went on to express his gratitude for the way Mexico took in the Jews arriving from Spain: “We cannot speak of the expulsion of Jews from Spain without mentioning Mexico, the country that welcomed us and offered us a new life, opportunities, a new nationality and freedom of worship.”
The FHJ is a non-profit organization created with the goal of remembering and celebrating Sephardic and Hispanic heritage, as well as educating about the many common values and traditions between Jewish and Hispanic cultures. The foundation has associations in Mexico, Argentina, Panama, Israel and the United States.
The Centro Deportivo Israelita was founded in October 1950 and currently has approximately 18,000 associates, who offer the most diverse sports, social, recreational, cultural and artistic activities, all within the framework of Jewish identity.