Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2012 PROJECT UPDATE - H.M. King Mohammed VI

We have made considerable progress on the fundraising front that will enable us to begin restoration of several cemeteries very soon. The most thrilling and gratifying development is the fact the H.M. King Mohammed VI of Morocco is now a major benefactor of the Project. He appreciates the inextricable link between the legacy of the Jews of Cape Verde and the Jews of Morocco since almost all Cape Verde's Jews hailed originally from the Moroccan cities of Tangier, Tetouan, Rabat and Mogador (Essaouira).  Moreover, the Government of Cape Verde is moving in the direction of classifying the Jewish cemeteries as national historical patrimony, which would go a long way toward ensuring their preservation. On a recent trip to Cape Verde to accelerate restoration efforts and to consolidate cooperation among the descendants of Cape Verde's Jews, Sofia Veiga (descendant of the Wahnon family) and I paid a courtesy call on Cape Verdean President Jorge Fonseca, who is very supportive of the project. I also met with Minister of Culture, Mario Lucio, who also backs CVJHP efforts and who is spearheading the drive to classify the cemeteries and other places of Jewish memory as national historical patrimony. 

Carol Castiel, President Jorge Fonseca, Sofia Veiga

Nov. 2010 CVJHP Fundraising Dinner Big Success


Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts whose district boasts numerous constituents of Cape Verdean and Portuguese descent, was the guest of honor at a successful fundraising dinner for CVJHP at the residence of Portuguese Ambassador Joao de Vallera, a valued honorary board member. Frank spoke eloquently about the need to preserve the Jewish heritage of Cape Verde and said that the Project's work to restore and preserve the cemeteries and to document the legacy of the Jews was an important symbol of not just "tolerance," by Cape Verde toward the Jews, but of "enthusiastic embrace" of each other.  http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=198194.  About 75 people attended the dinner which featured Portuguese and Moroccan cuisine, Portuguese wine, and Cape Verdean Music. Cape Verdean Ambassador to the U.S. Fatima Veiga spoke about the government's commitment to the Project and their pride in having many citizens of Sephardic Jewish descent. Mayor of New Bedford, MA, Scott Lang, attended as did many members of the Sephardic community of Greater Washington. CVJHP Board members Jack Edlow, Allan Reich and Ambassador Hank Cohen lent their generous financial support.