José Taronji Y Cortés was a Spanish priest and poet. Born of Chueta parents in Palma, Taronjí y Cortés was descended from an old Jewish family, several members of which had been martyred by the Inquisition during the late 17th century. Though ordained in 1872, he was denied a position in the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca because of his Jewish ancestry.
From 1876 to 1877 Taronjí y Cortés launched a series of attacks on the racial prejudices of the island's ecclesiastical hierarchy, in articles published in the Almanaque Balear and in his book Una mala causa a todo trance defendida (1877). These were reprinted in 1967 with introductory notes which suggest that anti-Chueta prejudice was still alive in the mid-20th century. His Algo sobre el estado religioso y social de la isla de Mallorca (1877) created a nationwide furor and resulted in some liberalization of official policies in Majorca. Taronjí y Cortés also gained renown as a Catalan poet.
B. Braunstein, The Chuetas of Majorca (1936), index S.V. Taronjí; Homenaje al Josée Taronjí y Cortés (1967); A.L. Isaacs, The Jews of Majorca (1936), 8–9, 210.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.