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Saturday, May 25, 2024

New Book on Moroccan Jews in Cape Verde Published in Lisbon

“Moroccan Jews in Cape Verde in the 19th century” is the title of a collective work presented, Tuesday evening in Lisbon, in the framework of a ceremony initiated by the Association “Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project”.

Published in 137 pages of medium format, the book by Jose Alberto Rodríguez Silva Tavim and Ângela Sofia Benoliel Coutinho highlights the wave of immigration of Moroccan Jews in the mid-nineteenth century towards the Cape Verde archipelago in search of new prospects and economic opportunities.\

Presenting this work, Carol Castille, president of the Association, praised the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the action of the Sovereign to preserve and enhance the Moroccan Jewish heritage.

She expressed, in this sense, her deep gratitude to HM the King for the special interest that the Sovereign grants to the preservation of the Jewish heritage both in Morocco and abroad.

A Royal solicitude illustrated by the generous contribution of His Majesty the King to the project of restoration of cemeteries that group the graves of Jews of Moroccan origin who immigrated to Cape Verde in the nineteenth century.

After recalling that the Jews lived in Morocco for over 2,000 years in peace and found refuge there from the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions, the initiator of the “Project for the preservation of Jewish heritage in Cape Verde” noted that the links between the Jews of Cape Verde and Morocco are “direct and inseparable” as evidenced by the epitaphs and inscriptions on the tombstones and shrines of the Jewish cemeteries in the archipelago.

The American journalist added that once settled in Cape Verde, Moroccan Jews exercised various professions and economic activities such as international trade and maritime navigation, working as administrators for the Portuguese colonial authorities who controlled the strategic archipelago of Cape Verde.

This book consists of two parts. In the first part, which deals with the theme “Jews of Portugal and the Diaspora. Morocco and Cape Verde”, the author Jose Alberto Rodríguez Silva Tavim sheds light on the history of the Jews of Portugal and the hidden aspects of some Moroccan Jewish families that immigrated to the Cape Verde Islands and settled there.

The second part, dedicated to the theme “Jews from Morocco and Gibraltar in Cape Verde in the 19th century”, is written by Ângela Sofia Benoliel Coutinho.

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