On December 18, 2022, the world ushers in Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. This holiday most notably celebrates the restoration of religious freedom. In commemoration of this theme in Jewish history, Jewish Heritage Alliance, co-sponsors, and co-hosting partners present the webinar Sefarad: Portugal’s Untold Story.
According to Michael Steinberger, founder and CEO da Jewish Heritage Alliance, “the story of Jewish Portugal, spanning time and space, is one of triumphs, trials, and tribulations. Jewish Heritage Alliance, dedicated to promoting the legacy of Sefarad to the world at large via programs including tours to Portugal, recognizes the Portuguese Jewish experience as a formative part of the larger Sefardic, and Jewish, story. As we usher in Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, JHA decided to shine a spotlight on this history and the enduring quest for religious freedom from antiquity until today.”
The event will feature renowned speakers who are very prepared to talk about the Jewish Portugal. Mr. Richard Zimler, an expert and bestselling author on Jewish Portugal, and Rabbi Eli Rosenfeld, the Rabbi of the Chabad in Cascais will be the speakers.
“I have dedicated 25 years of my life to writing about Portuguese-Jewish history, in part because it remains an untold story even among the world's Jewish communities. Indeed, I consider my seven novels about different branches and generations of a Portuguese-Jewish family to be my contribution to world literature - and my attempt to create a more empathetic and compassionate world. In my talk, I will focus on an extremely dramatic period of Portuguese history, from 1497 to 1536, when the nation's Jews faced ethnic cleansing, brutal persecution and murder, though I will also discuss earlier times of peaceful co-existence and the repressive effects of the Inquisition in the 16th , 17th and 18th centuries.”, declares Richard Zimler.
Rabbi Eli Rosenfeld says: "sharing the story of the Chachmei Portugal, is a privilege. It is a special honor to share the stories and to give a voice to the great Jewish leaders who lived in Portugal. Their legacy and stories continue to inspire us".
Also featured are Dr. Michael Rothwell, a board member of the Jewish Community of Oporto and Mr. Eli Gabay, Esq., Parnas/President of Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia. The moderator is Dr. Isaac Amon, JHA Director of Academic Research.
“This is an excellent opportunity for viewers around the world to learn about the Jewish history of Portugal from two experts in the field. I myself shall give a brief account of the history of the Jewish community in Oporto and the Jewish Community of Oporto today”, said Michael Rothwell.
The webinar will take place at 1 PM (Portugal time) and participation requires prior registration through the website.