Friday, September 18, 2009
Following the successful reception at the Moroccan Ambassador's residence in March 2009, CVJHP accomplished quite a bit behind the scenes. B'nai B'rith International, whose executive vice president, Daniel Mariaschin, is on CVJHP's honorary board, sent veteran journalist Larry Luxner to Cape Verde in June 2009 to investigate and write about the islands' Jewish heritage. Thanks once again to TACV - The Cape Verde National Airline - for sponsoring the transatlantic flight and providing discounts on the inter-island legs for Larry. See Larry's fabulous article entitled "Rediscovering the Jewish Heritage of Cape Verde," in the December 2009 issue of B'nai B'rith Monthly on our web site: http://www.capeverdejewishheritage.org/. Speaking of the web site, it is being re-designed and upgraded by Paul Wind and Lauren Newman, CVJHP newest volunteers. We hope it will be up and running by July 2010. It will be more attractive, user-friendly, and interactive. We want to reach out to descendants of the Jews of Cape Verde around the world and have them post memories or connect with one another. In August, I submitted a letter to the Cape Verdean Minister of Culture to request that all the Jewish cemeteries and other distinct places of memory be designated as "Cultural Monuments." We believe that this designation would not only go a long way in preserving the Jewish burial grounds and other buildings constructed or owned by the Jewish families, but would also help us to raise funds from foundations. By recognizing the cemeteries as "cultural monuments," the government of Cape Verde also acknowledges their unique historical and cultural value. Foundations and individuals are more inclined to donate to a Project when they see stakeholders, such as the government of Cape Verde, taking concrete supportive actions such as this.