‘Sephardic’ is the name given to Jews originally from the Iberian Peninsula since ancient Roman times; the word is from the Hebrew word for ‘Spain’. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, they numbered 300,000 in Spain. Jews were kicked out in 1492 when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were making their kingdom ‘Catholic-only’.
Here are quotes from a BBC News article describing the new policy:
“In November, Spain’s justice minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon announced a plan to give descendants of Spain’s original Jewish community – known as Sephardic Jews – a fast-track to a Spanish passport and Spanish citizenship.”
“Anyone who could prove their Spanish Jewish origins, he said, would be given Spanish nationality.”
According to the article, 6000 inquiries alone were made by Sephardic Jews in the first month after the policy was announced. Although it gives no numbers for how many people have gained their Spanish citizenship thus far. An interesting thought finishes the article:
“…some Muslim scholars are denouncing the offer as unfair. They point out that their ancestors were expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. But no-one is inviting them back.”