Jewish Community of Oporto republishes the newspaper Ha-Lapid (1927-1958)

Jewish Community of Oporto republishes the newspaper Ha-Lapid (1927-1958)

Following the work carried out by its Cultural Department to collect, study and disseminate Jewish history in Portugal, and in a period celebrating its centenary, the Oporto Jewish Community has just made available online all issues from its historic periodical Ha-Lapid (1927-1958) for public fruition. At the same time, a collection of all issues was produced in physical format, in two volumes.

The non-profit publication is being distributed by the biggest academic authorities in the country and abroad. There were three decades of extensive production with historical and theological articles, news related to Jewish community life in Oporto, in the country and in the main communities around the world, as well as opinion articles by national and foreign authors and news about the main events in the Land of Israel and, later, in the State of Israel.

Since its legal foundation, in 1923, the Jewish Community of Oporto has taken on a cultural responsibility to carry out the strengthening of Jewish culture, in addition to pursuing its mission regarding the Jewish practice of its members.

The then president of the Community, Captain Barros Basto, a self-taught man and author of the very interesting book "The Jews of Old Oporto", extended his ambitions to a reckless attempt to rescue the Marranos into official Judaism. The publication of Ha-Lapid was mainly due to the Marranos.

In 1927 the official communication organ of the Community began to be published and distributed. Initially published monthly, Ha-Lapid began to be published more and more spaced out, ending with one issue per year.

This periodical, distributed by national and foreign Jewish communities and by the main global Jewish personalities of the time with whom the editor and director of the newspaper, Captain Basto, corresponded, had its last issue published in September 1958. In addition to Barros Basto, another member of the Community with a great culture stood out: Amílcar Paulo. They were the greatest exponents of the first newspaper of the Jewish Community of Oporto.

Having recently completed a century of official existence, the Jewish community of Oporto is currently the most culturally developed Jewish community in Europe. Every year, at the European Day of Jewish Culture there is a special programme that involves several Jewish institutions in the city: the Kadoorie Synagogue, the Jewish Museum, the Holocaust Museum, the great library, the painting gallery, the kosher winery, the cinemas, the kosher restaurants and so on.

This is the biggest and most intensive event of its kind in Europe. The aim is for people to become acquainted with the history, religion, laws, customs, principles, symbology and philosophy of the Jewish people. The public can attend conferences and get to know different arts such as Jewish music, painting, literature, cinema, videography, photography and gastronomy.

Pursuing its statutory purposes and taking on a cultural responsibility and the dissemination of Portuguese Judaism, the today's Jewish Community of Porto has developed several projects that include the training of educators and the production and support of several publications of historical interest.

Last year the Community published its centenary book, which includes the history of its last hundred years. In the same year, the Ha-Lapid republication project began, which has now been successfully completed. This publication makes accessible what is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting historical sources for studying Judaism in Portugal in the 20th Century.