European Day of Jewish Culture celebrated in Oporto on 1 September

European Day of Jewish Culture celebrated in Oporto on 1 September

Thousands of people participate in the “European Days of Jewish Culture” in 2023. Credit: CIP/CJP

The European Day of Jewish Culture is celebrated on the same day in almost forty countries on the Old Continent. In Oporto, visitors will have a special program involving the city’s main Jewish institutions, which include kosher restaurants, an art gallery and much, much more. Entrance is free of charge.

This initiative of the Jewish community of Oporto is organized in close collaboration with the European Jewish Association, and hopes to welcome some ten thousand participants in an enriching and educational experience that crosses paths with the past of the city of Oporto itself and of Portugal. "The event we put on here is the most complete in Europe", says Vivian Groisman of the local Jewish community. “Visitors can see the country’s largest synagogue, the only Holocaust Museum on the Iberian Peninsula, as well as a modern Jewish museum, an art gallery with the history of the Portuguese Jews and also different arts such as music, literature, gastronomy and Jewish cinema. This is an opportunity for the public to become acquainted with the city’s main Jewish institutions which throughout the year are only accessible to school students, teachers and members of the Jewish community”.

At the monumental Kadoorie Synagogue you can not only see its main prayer room, but also view the painting exhibition displayed in the wonderful library on the first floor, in addition to listening to the performance of the Mekor Haim Choir, a male choir singing Jewish liturgical music with a high quality repertoire.

At the Jewish Museum dedicated to the history of the Jews in Portugal and the diaspora, you will have the chance to meet the granddaughter of Captain Barros Basto, known as the “Portuguese Dreyfus”, who founded the modern Jewish community of Oporto exactly one century ago. Attractions include the replica of a prison cart from the times of the Inquisition and a large epigraph dedicated to the victims of the Inquisition who were born in the city of Oporto.

The Holocaust Museum is the repository of objects left by refugees in Oporto in 1940. You can also visit the famous recreation of the Auschwitz dormitories, and the room of the names of the Holocaust victims. Visitors can exchange views with Michael Rothwell, the museum director and grandson of Jews who were assassinated in that death camp. It will also be possible to hear the testimony of Josef Lassmann, whose mother was on Block 10, in the hands of the infamous Dr. Mengele.

The cinema and the exhibition of films of Jewish history (one of the strongest cultural activities of the Jewish community of Oporto) will be a high point in visits to the museums. The cinema of the Jewish Museum will show the film "1506 – The Lisbon Genocide", as well as “Sefarad”, which recounts the first hundred years of the modern local community. The cinema at the Holocaust Museum will show an excerpt from the film "The Light of Judah”, depicting the arrival of Jewish refugees in Oporto in 1940 and 1941.

And that is not all. The Oporto event dedicated to the European Day of Jewish Culture will go hand in hand with good kosher gastronomy, enabling those who are interested to enjoy a meal in one of the kosher restaurants in the vicinity: Kosher Ibéria (on Rua do Campo Alegre) and the Kosher Restaurant at Hotel da Música (in Bom Sucesso Market).

The European Day of Jewish Culture is celebrated in the main European cities with innumerable activities coordinated by the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage, B’nai B’rith Europa and the National Library of Israel.

Full program:

(Oporto, Sunday 1 September 2024, 10h00-17h30)

KADOORIE SYNAGOGUE – Entrance free of charge.

Painting exhibition. 15 large paintings, a collection produced under the coordination of the painter of the Jewish Community of Oporto, Flor Mizhahi. Open all day.

Mekor Haim liturgical choir, led by members of the community Yonah Yaphe and Luciano Moura. Session: 12h00.

JEWISH MUSEUM - Entrance free of charge.

Meeting with the granddaughter of Captain Barros Basto, known as the “Portuguese Dreyfus”, who founded the modern Jewish community of Oporto.

HOLOCAUST MUSEUM - Entrance free of charge.

Meeting with Michael Rothwell, the museum director, grandson of Jews who were assassinated in that death camp, and Josef Lassmann, whose mother was on Block 10, in the hands of the infamous Dr. Mengele

CINEMA – Entrance free of charge.

Jewish Museum Cinema: Film “1506 – The Lisbon Genocide”, sessions between 10h30 and 14h30. | Film “Sefarad”, session at 15h00.

Holocaust Museum Cinema: Film "The Light of Juda”, all day sessions.

KOSHER RESTAURANTS

Restaurante Ibéria – Entry conditioned by consumption. Opening hours: 12h00-16h00.

Hotel da Música - Entry conditioned by consumption. Opening hours: 12h00-16h00.