Tag Archive for Portugal

Following Spain’s moral conscience, Portugal grants citizenship to descendants of exiled Jews


Like Spain, Portugal says its sole reason for granting citizenship to descendants of its expelled Sephardi Jews, is to right a historic wrong.
• A local Jewish leader says, “We regard this as an act of justice.

By Erez Linn, The Associated Press & Israel Hayom Staff


Five centuries after it burned thousands of Jews at the stake, forced thousands of others to convert to Christianity and expelled the rest, Portugal is granting citizenship rights to their descendants as part of an attempt to make amends.
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Portugal joined 6 European states advising against doing business beyond ’67 borders

Portugal joins after France, Spain & Italy’s similar warning last week, with Germany, Britain & the Netherlands doing so earlier.

Portugal joined six other European countries on Wednesday in warning its citizens against doing business beyond the Green Line, with another 10 European countries expected to issue similar recommendations by the end of the week.

View of Lisbon’s port, one of the largest and most important ports in Europe – Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The advisory, which appeared on Portugal’s Foreign Ministry website, employed similar language used by Spain and Italy last week in warning their nationals against doing business and investing in the West bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

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Portugal follows Spain in granting citizenship to descendants of exiled Sephardic Jews

Just 3 years after initially being granted refuge in Portugal after fleeing the Spanish expulsion of 1492, the exiled Jews again faced expulsion.



Portugal intends to follow Spain’s lead in granting citizenship to to the descendants of Sephardic Jews exiled in the fifteenth century, the country’s tourism minister said this week.

A man holds a Torah scroll during the festive procession returning it to Trancoso.

A man holds a Torah scroll during the festive procession returning it to Trancoso. Photo: Courtesy Michael Freund

Minister Adolfo Mesquita Nunes told Channel One’s “View of the World” program, broadcast on Saturday night, that the the rding of a draft bill, similar to that announced by Spain just over a week ago, will soon be ready. Continue Reading »

Portuguese plumbers discover 600 year old mikvahs

This  find, in the basement of a building on Rua do Visconde da Luz, Coimbra, may be considered among the oldest mikvahs ever discovered in Europe.



Plumbers fixing a water leak in central Portugal discovered what appears to be a cluster of 600-year-old Jewish ritual baths.

1of 3 -The mikvahs of Coimbra may be considered among the oldest mikvahs ever discovered in Europe  - Photo sourse:  DR/Publico.pt

1 of 3 -The mikvahs of Coimbra may be considered among the oldest mikvahs ever discovered in Europe – Photo source: DR/Publico.pt

The discovery was made earlier this year in the city of Coimbra as the plumbers were replacing the piping of an old building in what used to be the Jewish part of the Old City, according to a report Thursday by the Publico daily.

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Portugal: The only country besides Israel with a Jewish ‘Law of Return’

What began as a Facebook movement in favor of Portugal’s atoning for the Inquisition, was unanimously accepted in the Portuguese parliament and blossomed into a law which may help Portugal cope with its hurting recession.

Jose Ribeiro e Castro speaking at the Portuguese parliament, 2012. (Portugal's National Assembly)

Jose Ribeiro e Castro, shown speaking at the Portuguese parliament in 2012, said that for him, naturalizing the descendants of expelled Jews was “purely a historical and emotional goal.”

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Portugal to vote on citizenship for the descendants of exiled Jews

Popular support for the motion stems from a desire to “make amends” for a dark historical chapter in Portugal – a country that is described as being“virtually free of anti-Semitism.”



The parliament of Portugal is scheduled to vote on whether to naturalize descendants of 16th-century Jews who fled the country because of religious persecution.

File:Parlamento April 2009-1a.jpg

The Parlamento of Portugal – Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The motion will be brought to a first reading on Thursday by Portugal’s Socialist Party and is expected to pass, as it has the support of the ruling Social Democratic Party, according to Jose Oulman Carp, president of Portugal’s Jewish community. Continue Reading »