First Jewish Center to Open in Portugal Since Inquisition

By | Nov 20, 2012


A Jewish cultural center is set to open in Portugal in what is being billed as the first community institution of its kind since the inquisition more than 500 years.

The mayor of Transcoso, a small town some 40 miles from the border with Spain, has agreed to open the cultural and religious center, officially called the Isaac Cardoso Center for Jewish Interpretation, which is slated to include an exhibition about the Jewish history of Portugal and the renewal of Jewish life in the region in recent years. It will also contain a new synagogue called Beit Mayim Hayim , “the House of Living Waters.”

The center will be administered by Shavei Israel, a nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen ties with the descendants of Jews around the world, and will focus on outreach work to the many Bnei Anousim, descendants of Iberian Jews who were compelled to convert to Catholicism in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Read here about the genetic legacy of Jewish Catholics.

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