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COMMUNITY   

The Community was established in 1991 with a Channuka tea party at the home of Ralf and Judy Pinto. Since then all the main Chagim (festivals) are celebrated with tea parties or dinners. When sufficient numbers are present an erev (evening) Shabbat service is arranged. The highlight of any year is the communal Passover Seder, which attracts some 60 people from all parts of the Diaspora. In 1998 the community celebrated the first Bar Mitzvah in 75 years in the Algarve, bringing a Sefer Torah from Lisbon. With funds raised by the Faro Cemetery Restoration Fund the historic Faro Jewish Cemetery was restored and rededicated at an impressive ceremony in 1993.  Since then the cemetery and its small museum has been open to the public.

The Community publicizes its get together's by means of the local press, by mailing circulars to its members and listed in the International Jewish Travel Guide.

MUSEUM    

The museum houses many items illustrating the history of  'The Faro Jewish Heritage Centre.' Furniture preserved from one of the two defunct 19th and 20th century Faro synagogues are the centrepiece of the new museum. Suitably dressed models depict a Wedding and a Bar Mitzvah taking place. Audiotape services will be activated automatically as visitors enter. The reception area has a sales counter with Judaica, books, videos and souvenirs. Documents and books are in a library/video room. The exhibition room houses items collected over the past 11 years and presently in storage, as well as the exhibits in the Tahara museum since 1992.

There is a facsimile copy of Gacon’s 1487 Pentateuch in Hebrew; its length of Torah scroll in a glass front display case, its 1870’s eternal light commemorating Joseph Sicsu etc.

The educational value of non Jewish pupils and tourists seeing a Bar mitzvah and a Wedding in a real life setting will be a true benefit for Judaism, as well as, tourism in Portugal!

CEMETARY    

The return of Jews to Faro, mostly from Gibraltar and Morocco,  took place in the early 1830’s.

The land for the Cemetery in Faro was purchased in December 1851, however there are graves dating back to 1838. The Faro Jewish Cemetery is now listed in the Cemeteries classification as a Place of Public Interest in the Portuguese's National Register of National Historical Monuments.  

The visitors’ book reflects the feelings of serenity experienced at the cemetery The visitors’ book reflects the feelings of serenity experienced at the cemetery.



FARO, ALGARVE and the JEWS

SUMMARY

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A vibrant community where chagim (festivals) are celebrated with tea parties or dinners. When possible an erev (evening) Shabbat service is arranged. Each year the highlight is the communal Passover Seder (evening meal) which attracts about 60 people.

There is a museum and Jewish cemetery.

A DVD is available with the story of Jews in Portugal and the 1992 restoration of the Faro Jewish Cemetery (1838-1932)

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