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

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