As a family we were honoured help rebuild to the wonderful Jewish Community of Porto since 2012, and I especially have been appreciative, as serving as President of the community, and now currently serving as board member.
With a century of legal existence, CIP/CJP is a religious, cultural and charitable organization that seeks to honour the city’s past Jewish community which disappeared with the expulsion edict of D. Manuel at the end of the 15th century.
The Jewish Community of Oporto serves Jews and non Jews, the young, the old, the tourists and the deceased. It offers courses to school teachers to combat antisemitism, and has a Holocaust Museum, a Jewish museum, a Jewish cinema, films about its history and cooperation protocols with the Portuguese State, the Israeli Embassy to Portugal, Bnei Brith International, the Anti-Defamation League, Keren Hayesod, Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe team, as well as with the Oporto Diocese and Oporto’s Muslim community.
In 2012, our eldest children, Shlomo was 11, and Esther was 9.
In the last decade we have participated and contributed in many Synagogue events and we have always been inspired by the growth of the Synagogue and its wonderful members, especially our eldest children.
Due in part to this inspiration Shlomo, turning 21, is now in his 3rd year of yeshiva (Beis Yisroel) in Jerusalem, Israel. He is studying hard and has completed several tractates of Gemorah in depth. He is a talmid chacham and is very happy in his learning.
Shlomo has read the Megillah reading on Purim for the Porto community, and other weekly Torah portions on Shabbat.
Shlomo has also done volunteering on behalf of the Porto community for Keren Hayesod, for Olim Chadashim (centre absorption) in the north of Israel, looking after children and teaching them English at the centre. During this volunteering, he also helped and gave company to Holocaust survivors in the south of Israel.
Also due to the inspiration of the Porto community Esther now 18, is in a Seminary in Machon Raaya, Jerusalem, Israel also studying hard. The community also inspired Esther to volunteer as a counsellor at a summer camp for Jewish children at the Chabad house in Cascais, Portugal, at the age of 15. During the camp, she helped inspire the young children in their faith.
When both Shlomo and Esther have completed their learning cycles in Israel they can return to the Porto Community and share their learning in Porto. Debora and I, also have two younger children, Dovid and Leah, who will also follow similar paths to Esther and Shlomo.
Am yisrael chai!