Portugal / Madeira


Funchal. Photo by Felix Potuit – Wikipedia

The capital of the Madeira archipelago, Funchal is known for its museums and beautiful architecture, from municipal monuments such as the Tower to its buildings and gardens set in the depths of the sea. Its name means “fennel”, a vegetable abundantly found in the area by Portuguese sailors on their discovery.

The Jewish presence is relatively recent, dating back to the early 19th century, with the arrival of Moroccan Jews who set up businesses in the textile industry. A synagogue was built in 1836, and Rabbi David Zaguri became its head in 1857. Other Jews settled in Funchal in the first half of the 20th century. The synagogue was later closed, but a Jewish cemetery remains.

The town was ravaged by a terrible fire in 2016.

Sources : Encyclopaedia Judaica

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