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History of the Jews in Madeira spans the entire length of the history of Madeira itself, from Crypto-Jews to World War II evacuees. Like the Jews of mainland Portugal, Madeira jews are mainly related to Sephardi history, a Jewish ethnic division that represents communities who have originated in the Iberian Peninsula. There was once a Synagogue of Funchal, which is now disused.

Menasseh Ben Israel was born in Madeira in 1604.

Jews from Morocco arrived in 1819 and set themselves up in the cloth and wine trades. The Abudarham family from Gibraltar were involved in the Madeira wine industry from the early 1860s onwards.

The Jewish community on the island of Madeira expanded in 1940, due to the Evacuation of the Gibraltarian civilian population during World War II to Madeira, which included a number of Jews, who attended the Synagogue of Funchal. Some of these evacuees were buried in the Jewish Cemetery of Funchal.[1]

Tito Benady, a historian on Gibraltar Jewry, noted that when some 200 Jews of the 2000 evacuees from Gibraltar were evacuated as non combatants to Funchal, Madeira, at the start of World War II, they found a Jewish cemetery (Jewish Cemetery of Funchal) that belonged to the Abudarham family. The same family after whom the Abudarham Synagogue in Gibraltar was named.[2]

The Jewish Cemetery of Funchal is a Jewish cemetery located in Rua do Lazareto, Funchal, Madeira. Sephardi Jews as well as Ashkenazi Jews are buried there.

Memorial commemorating Gibraltarian evacuees in Madeira

In 2008, a monument was made in Gibraltar and shipped to Madeira where it has been erected next to a small chapel at Santa Caterina park, Funchal. The monument is a gift and symbol of ever-lasting thanks given by the people of Gibraltar to the island of Madeira and its inhabitants.[3]

The city of Funchal and Gibraltar were twinned on 13 May 2009 by their then Mayors, the Mayor of Funchal Miguel Albuquerque and the mayor of Gibraltar who had been an Evacuee from Gibraltar to Madeira Solomon Levy, respectively. The mayor of Gibraltar then had a meeting with the then President of Madeira Alberto João Jardim.

In 2013, Passover Seder was held in Madeira sponsored by Shavei Israel and was attended by Bnei Anousim/Crypto-jews.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jono David (2015). "MADEIRA (Portugal), Funchal. Jewish Cemetery (8.2015)". HaChayim HaYehudim Jewish Photo Library. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
  2. ^ Yitzchak Kerem (2015). "Portuguese Crypto Jews". jewishwebsight.com. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
  3. ^ www.love-madeira.com (accessed 13 December 2010) Archived 17 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Brian Blum (2013). "Shavei Israel sponsors first public Passover Seder in centuries on Portuguese island of Madeira". Shavei Israel. Retrieved 2015-12-13.