Jewish Heritage Study Programs organizes tours to the Jewish vestiges in Portugal for Space Travel.
The Jewish people have always had a great influence in the History of Portugal and although they were expelled or forced to convert in the XVth century, many remained Jewish at heart and went on living as crypto-Jews.
After the 1974 Democratic Revolution, religion became independent from the State and historians had access to many 'secret' Documents. In 1996, the Edict of Expulsion was abolished, 500 years after it had been issued.
A few years ago a whole community of crypto-Jews from Belmonte began to openly practice their Jewish faith and a synagogue was founded during the celebrations of the abolishment of the Edict of Expulsion.
Some think that 300 years of Inquisition have left permanent marks in the lives of those whose ancestors were severely persecuted and that this fear can only be overcome by the contact with other Jewish lives.
If, on the one hand our tours will enable further crypto-Jews to step out in their faith, we believe it is a privilege for those who choose to come, specially since many now living throughout the world have ancestors who left the Iberian Peninsula during the 'Sephardic Diaspora'.(*)
Our tours have specialized Guides in the History of the Jewish people in Portugal and briefings by local Historians. We hope that all that come find more meaning in life and that they enjoy their stay.
Rua de S. Bento 644, 2. Esq. 1250 - 223 Lisboa
Tel/FAX: +351 213 885 828