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  • Jewish Community of Oporto

    Official Website

    Citizenship (pdf)

     

  • Community

    The Jewish Community of Oporto is a community that includes about two hundred Jews from more than twenty countries. It has a regular minyan and kiddush every Shabbat. The Oporto Rabbinate is recognised by the Rabbanut Harashit of Israel and the Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue, the headquarters of the Community, is the largest synagogue in Sepharad. The Temple includes two separate prayer rooms and spaces reserved for studying, a mikveh, a nursery, a grocery, a restaurant, a library, a community dining room for 200 people, a kitchen, a patio where a Sukkah is built for Sukkot, etc.

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    Community

    The synagogue is run daily by shomer-mitzvot Jews employed by the community - Rabbi, chazan, baal koreh, balanit, mashguiach, cook, etc. - under the protective umbrella of an organization (the Jewish Community of Oporto) with a Board of Directors, a Supervisory Board and multiple departments: kashrut, tzedakah, chevra kadisha, security, legal, accounting, administrative services, media, interfaith, nationality law, archive, museum, etc.

    Inaugurated in 2015, under the supervision of Oporto Rabbinate, the mikveh may be used only for halakhic purposes. The use of the mikveh is free for members of the Jewish Community of Oporto. For Jewish tourists, a tour of the mikveh is available on request. Women who wish to use the mikveh must be accompanied by the community balanit, who must be contacted at least 24 hours in advance. Any matters related to family purity or tevilah should be directed to the Rabbi.



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    Community

    The cemetery of the Community is located in a discreet and rural location, a few kilometres from the synagogue. The cemetery plots are available free of charge for the members of the Community. Under the supervision of Oporto Rabbinate, the Chevra Kadisha of the Community is a professional team from London and Israel and has all the facilities needed for its work.

    The Community has excellent relations with the Portuguese authorities and with the leaders of all religions. In 2016 the Jewish Community of Oporto and the Islamic Community of Oporto agreed on the following Memorandum: "Whereas it is often better and more effective to create and extend local bonds of peace, so that they can spread from one place to another, than to try to achieve world peace through international forums and much less through the massive propaganda of agnostic belief; and whereas relations between Jews and Muslims, which thrived during centuries, have endured extremely negative episodes in many places during the last decades -- which is deeply to be lamented; the Jewish Community of Oporto and the Islamic Community of Oporto affirm this Memorandum of Friendship and Cooperation."
    More Information

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    Kashrut

    The Jewish Community of Oporto is able to provide members of the Community and Jewish visitors or tourists with various options in terms of kashrut, as part of a project that is coordinated by the Rabbi, whose supervision is recognised by the Grand Rabbinate of Israel. The project involved rigorous training of the employees.

    There are several kashrut structures already in existence or soon to be created in the city.

    Oporto Kosher Food List
    It is possible to survive in Oporto eating only kosher food from general supermarkets.


    Please see the list here.

     



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    Kashrut

    Kosher Kadoorie Vending Store in the Oporto synagogue, with a multiplicity of vending machines of hot snacks, drinks and other products for Jewish tourists and visitors.

    Kosher Kadoorie Restaurant only for Jewish groups by prior request. It is located behind the Oporto synagogue. (kosher@comunidade-israelita-porto.org)

    Kosher Community Grocery, inside the Oporto Synagogue, with all essential products: meat, milk, wine, bread, mezonot, dairy products, etc.. This grocery is open only to members of the community.




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    Kashrut

    Kosher Restaurant of the Hotel da Música, 1 km on foot of the synagogue. The restaurant was certified by the Rabbi of the Oporto Community following rigorous training of the employees of the hotel, so that they are able to welcome Jewish tourists. (info@hoteldamusica.com)

    Kosher store in Mercado do Bom Sucesso, with some products for Jewish visitors and people in general. (portokosherstore@hoteldamusica.com)

    Low cost kosher meals are also available (Contact: kosher.catering.porto@gmail.com)

     

    Complete List (Pdf): Link

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    Tzedakah

    The Jewish Community of Oporto has its own financial resources and does not rely on external aid. On the contrary, it gives tzedakah and promotes social justice via a vast network of Jewish organisations (synagogues, communities, institutions for the elderly and disabled, essential Israeli organizations for the future of the country, Olami, Yashar Lachaval, etc.) and contributions to institutions of Oporto that defend the poor, the homeless and animals, and that distribute meals and blankets to people exposed to the cold in large cities.


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    Tzedakah

    The Community promotes and pays for the Bar Mitzvah of poor Israeli children, and is a partner of Keren Hayesod in a programme to help older adults (preventing senior hunger and malnutrition, health care needs, etc.), in a programme to promote and prepare for Aliyah to Israel, in a program of smooth and successful integration of immigrants into Israeli society, in a programme to get young Jews from the Diaspora to visit Israel and stay there for six months to a year to create ties with the country, and in a programme that gives young people from the periphery of Israel the technological education they need to succeed in their lives.
    The Jewish Community of Oporto is also a partner of Keren Hayesod in a programme to support Israeli soldiers who are without their families in Israel, in a programme aimed at the physical and social development of the Negev and sparsely populated areas of Galilee, in a programme to provide a home for children at social risk, in a programme to give to the children at social risk the possibility of learning music and being part of an orchestra, and in the programme "Youth Futures" that provides children at-risk (ages 6 - 13) with interventions that will enable them to take their place as independent, productive members of society. It serves over 14,000 children and their families in 36 of Israel's disadvantaged regions.

     

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    Tzedakah

    In the area of paediatric cancer, the Community pays all year round all the running costs of a room for children with cancer and their family members who, with much suffering and inadequate financial means, have to travel a great distance to Oporto's paediatric oncology hospital (IPO) and stay overnight in the city for several days.

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    Tzedakah

    The Community seeks to distribute part of its surplus income (determined according to halachic criteria) among orphans and widows, the disabled and the elderly, and to support the tuition costs of those in need, and to find employment for members who really wish to work with determination in order to survive with dignity. As an institution with legal and tax responsibilities, the Community cannot give tzedakah or contributions anonymously. It does so, however, in order to set a good example and to encourage other institutions and people follow suit, and promote good and social justice.

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    Settlement

    HOUSING & INVESTMENT 

     Airbnb  The best alternative for hotels
     Casa Sapo  The biggest website for real estate in Portugal
     Custo Justo  The biggest platform to buy and sale goods between individuals
     Era Real Estate Agency  Real estate franchise
     Fortera Group  Fortera Group is specialized in property acquisition, development and management. The group has extensive experience in locating real esate opportunities and the management of the process from A-Z while keeping the focus on maximum yield.
     Imovirtual Platform to buy and rent goods between individuals
     Remax Real Estate Agency  Real estate franchise
     Uniplaces  Often used by students who need a room for several months

     

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    Settlement

    EDUCATION  

    Jewish nursery of Oporto

    Contact the Jewish Community of Oporto in order to know the Jewish Nursery planning.

    Hebrew Oulpan

    Learn how to speak Hebrew with a native Israeli professor who organizes Oulpan class once a week for beginners.
    The Oporto British School The Oporto British School is an independent, British day school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18. The school meets all the requirements of the Standards for British Schools Overseas.
    Lycée Français International
    de Porto
    Le LFIP est lié au réseau mondial de l'AEFE (Agence pour l?Enseignement Français à l'Etranger) par une Convention. L'homologation du LFIP par l?AEFE comme établissement d'enseignement français atteste sa conformité aux programmes, aux objectifs pédagogiques et aux principes fondamentaux de l?enseignement public en France. Le LFIP accueille les enfants de la maternelle au lycée.
    University Fernando Pessoa Health Sciences: Análises Clínicas e Saúde Pública; Ciências da Nutrição; Ciências Farmacêuticas; Enfermagem; Fisioterapia; Medicina Dentária; Terapêutica da Fala.
    Human and Social Sciences:Ciência Política e Relações Internacionais; Ciências da Comunicação; Ciências Empresariais; Criminologia; Gestão Comercial e Contabilidade; Psicologia.
    Science and Technology: Arquitectura e Urbanismo; Engenharia Informática; Engenharia Civil; Gestão da Qualidade, Ambiente e Segurança.
    University of Oporto Faculties: Architecture; Fine Arts; Sciences; Nutrition And Food Science; Sports; Law; Economics; Engineering; Pharmacy; Arts; Medicine; Dental Medicine; Psychology And Education; Science; Biomedical Sciences; Porto Business School
    Degrees: Bachelor's Degrees And Integrated Masters Degrees; Masters Degrees; Doctoral Degrees; Lifelong Learning

     

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    Settlement

    INTERNSHIP & VOLUNTEERING  

     

    Placement in Portugal Portuguese start-up organization, trying to help international graduates and young professionals to find an internship in Portugal, which matches their skills, education and preferences.  
    Praxis network Praxis is the European Centre for Project/Internship Excellence.  
    TX Training experience Training Experience offers students the opportunity to gain international work experience with the objective to enhance the potential of young professionals.  
    Erasmus internship Portugal ErasmusIntern.org is a web platform where companies and organizations can offer their internship vacancies to individuals seeking international opportunities. ErasmusIntern is a project of the Erasmus Student Network.  
    ESN Volunteering Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a non-profit international student organization. Their mission is to represent international students, thus provide opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of Students Helping Students.  

     

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    Tourists

     The Community offers solutions in terms of kashrut and mikveh and has a Synagogue in operation and a Jewish museum. For security reasons, Jewish tourists and groups of Jewish tourists (with or without guide) wishing to participate in the religious services of the Synagogue must inform the Community in advance.

     

    Regulations for Jewish visitors:

    Tourist visits are not permitted on Shabbat or Yom Tov;
    The Synagogue may not be in any way associated with public and overt violations of Shabbat or Yom Tov;
    Buses and taxis of Jewish tourists are forbidden to stop or park in the street in view of the Synagogue on Shabbat or Yom Tov;
    Neither photography nor the use of mobile devices is permitted on Shabbat or Yom Tov;
    The bell at the front gate must not be rung on Shabbat or Yom Tov.
    Smoking, eating, drinking and sleeping are forbidden;
    The dress of attendees should be suitable for a Synagogue.

     

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    Tourists

    Hotels near the synagogue:


    Hotel da Música with a kosher restaurant (1 km).
    Hotel Portus Cale Quality Inn (300 metres)
    Hotel Porto Palácio (500 metres)
    Hotel Ipanema Porto (1 km)
    Hotel HF Fénix Porto (900 metres)
    Hotel Sheraton Porto (600 metres)
    Hotel Crowne Plaza Porto (600 metres)



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    History

    The history of the Jewish community in Oporto is intertwined with the history of the city itself. There is evidence of the existence, in the 12th century, of a Jewish Quarter in the heart of the old city of Oporto. On December 5th 1496, The Edict of Expulsion of the Jews (indeed, of Judaism) from Portugal was signed by King D. Manuel I. The edict did not have the same effects in Oporto it had in other latitudes. There was no general rush to leave, nor were the Jews subject to violence, and in general, by force of circumstances, they accepted their conversion to Christianity, becoming "New Christians", although they secretly maintained their faith in the G-d of Israel.

    In 1618, an inquisitorial visitation of Oporto led to the detention of one hundred and fifty New Christians of great social standing and confiscation of their assets, which, to a great extent, resulted in the ripping apart of the social, economic and financial fabric of Oporto, leading to a large migratory wave of New Christians. Although many had assimilated into the general population, a wall of silence fell heavily on the Jews from Oporto. Only three hundred years later would they reappear.

     

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    History

    In the early 20th century, the city of Oporto witnessed events that will forever be linked to the history of the Jews in Portugal and in the world, through the action undertaken by an officer of the Portuguese army who had converted to Judaism: Captain Barros Basto. He was the founder of the Jewish Community of Oporto, together with Jewish merchants who had recently immigrated from Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Russia.

    Aware that Jewish Community of Oporto was the pillar and the logistical and moral foundation of the "Rescue Work" and determined to turn Oporto into a "religious beacon" for the Portuguese crypto-Jews, Barros Basto raised funds to build a synagogue in the city of which the crypto-Jews could be very proud. The Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue was inaugurated in 1938, at the height of Nazism in Germany.


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    History

    The construction of the synagogue began in 1929 and dragged on for almost 10 years. During this period the Captain was the target of a process known as the "Portuguese Dreyfus" and the community disintegrated. Many people thought that it would be better to sell the Synagogue and return the money to the families of the benefactors. The community had only about 15 or 20 members (some Russian and German immigrants and Captain Barros Basto himself).

    In 1961, the great historian Cecil Roth asked "What is to be done with this Synagogue [of Oporto]?" He would be surprised by the answer given by Marilyn Flitterman, one of the community's oldest members in 2017: "It is heart-warming to see how important the Synagogue has become since the days I first knew it, 50 years ago. At that time, there were very few people who went there, only my family and a few others. It was a big beautiful building, almost always empty. Now the Synagogue is always full of life and has a new purpose in welcoming the descendants of Jews who fled five centuries ago to other countries. The Mekor Haim Synagogue has fulfilled its destiny and that makes me very happy."


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    History

    The Jewish Community of Oporto today includes a mix of old and new families. Some families have been in the community since its foundation (Azancot, Barros Basto, and Beigel families) while others arrived more than half a century ago (Cymerman, Finkelsztein, Flitterman families). More recent members arrived from many countries and connect the Jewish Community of Oporto with the rest of the Jewish world. They restored the synagogue building, organized community departments, and created the necessary conditions for Jewish life to flourish again in Oporto.

    More than 500 years after the Jewish synagogues and cemetery were destroyed and the houses of the Jewish people looted at the time of the Expulsion, the Jewish Community of Oporto flourishes once again.

    More information

     

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    Museum

    The Jewish Museum of Oporto is located in rooms on the first floor of the Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue. It is one of the few Jewish museums in Europe that is run by a Jewish community. It is open every day, except for Shabbat and Yom tov. The museum's collection is replete with Jewish artifacts and relics and aims to promote Jewish culture, tradition, religion and history.

    Of particular note is a panel with the names of the 842 Oporto "New Christians" who were prosecuted, between 1541 and 1737, for "heretical Jewish practices". The oldest victim was 110 years old. The youngest victim was a mere 10 years of age. Visitors may learn about Jewish culture, history and religion, as well as about the history of the Jewish Community of Oporto, from the Middle Ages to the present day.


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    Museum

    Also on display are numerous original documents and objects relating to the "Rescue" of crypto-Jews that were still to be found in Portugal until a few decades ago and to the shelter the Community provided to hundreds of refugees during the Second World War. The way in which Oporto Jews lived and the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 are also given prominence in the Jewish Museum of Oporto.

    Captain Barros Basto, the founder of the Community, is one of the symbols of the museum, which takes account of his recent moral rehabilitation by Portuguese Parliament and his military rehabilitation by the Army, which reconstructed his career and acknowledged his rank as Colonel since 1945.

    More information

     

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    Museum

    Visitors may also see the Synagogue's prayer room, the Yeshivah (Jewish school) room, an area containing various Jewish ceremonial objects - menorah, chanukiah, mezuzah, talit, kipah, tefilin, etc. - and the library of the Jewish Community of Oporto.

    All non-Jewish visitors always receive a pamphlet containing the Sheva Mitzvot. Tourism is an industry of peace among the seventy nations, and as a small shrine the Synagogue shall always be an expression of Judaism, even as regards visits, contributing to the spiritual and cultural enrichment of peoples, to combat anti-Semitism and for the construction of a better world. 

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    Contacts

    Rua de Guerra Junqueiro, 340
    4150-386 Porto - Portugal
    Telephone: +351 911768596

     

    General

    info@comunidade-israelita-porto.org
    Kosher Department

    kosher@comunidade-israelita-porto.org

    Portuguese Citizenship

    portuguesenationality@comunidade-israelita-porto.org
    Tourism Department:
    tourism@comunidade-israelita-porto.org