Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2014 Update

We regret the delay in updating events via the blog, but you can read about major developments over the past year on the CVJHP Facebook Fan Page. To summarize the latest, CVJHP in conjunction with Praia City Hall or Camara da Praia, held a re-dedication ceremony, replete with many descendants and international dignitaries, of the recently restored Jewish burial plot in Praia in May 2013. CVJHP financed the work, which was executed by Praia City Hall. Please see the numerous articles written about this event on our publications page. CVJHP is proud of the generous support provided by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, which enables CVJHP to underwrite physical restoration efforts of Jewish cemeteries throughout the archipelago, namely in Praia and in the islands of Boa Vista and Santo Antão. In Santo Antão there are two cemeteries - Ponta do Sol and Penha de França - in the vila of Ribeira Grande.  Below are two photos from the May 2013 planning visit to Santo Antão.

Penha de França cemetery, Ribeira Grande
Ponta do Sol cemetery, Ribeira Grande
Physical restoration of these two cemeteries should commence over the coming months. Meantime, thanks to generous start-up support from World Monuments Fund CVJHP has engaged historian Ângela Sofia Benoliel Coutinho, a native of Cape Verde and a descendant of the legendary Benoliel family of Boa Vista, to scour relevant archives in Lisbon and Cape Verde, as well as to interview descendants and others, to obtain a fuller understanding and detailed portrait of the Sephardic Jews of Cape Verde.  Finishing touches are being made to the cemetery in Boa Vista, after which CVJHP will work with Boa Vista City Hall and other stakeholders as well as the Ministry of Culture to create signage and documentation for the many tourists expected to visit the site. In Praia, CVJHP is also negotiating with Praia City Hall to improve the walkway, lighting and signage leading to the restored Jewish burial plot, which will not only enhance the site as a historical monument but also as a potential tourist attraction.