CVJHP Update November/December 2021
Cabo Verde steadily emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic; Conducts democratic local and national elections; CVJHP works behind the scenes on documention and cemetery preservation efforts and heads to Cabo Verde to reinforce existing partnerships and create new ones!
First, Happy Chanukah to all who celebrate this Jewish festival of lights. On this Giving Tuesday, November 30, 2021, CVJHP sends heartfelt thanks to all our donors, big and small, for supporting us despite the Covid pandemic, which prevented us from traveling to Cabo Verde for almost two years.

I will depart this week for Cabo Verde until about mid-December, with brief stopovers in Lisbon to meet with descendants there. Our goal in Cabo Verde is to jumpstart and accelerate cemetery restoration, signage, and maintenance efforts, especially in Praia and Boa Vista. Over the past two years, we have been working diligently behind the scenes to nurture long-standing contacts, cultivate new ones and keep restoration and documentation efforts alive via "zooming," emailing and other communication apps. Recent local elections resulted in new mayors for the capital, Praia, and the island of Boa Vista. CVJHP is eager to work with the new officials and their teams to preserve the cemeteries, which the Goverment of Cabo Verde has designated as national, historical and cultural patrimony.

I will also meet with publisher, Livraria Pedro Cardoso, to spur the publication of Ângela Sofia Benoliel Coutinho's excellent manuscript on the Moroccan Jews of Cabo Verde, financed by CVJHP.

CVJHP is delighted to spotlight and thank a new donor from Cabo Verde: Empreitel Figueiredo and Celina and Isabel Brigham. Their generous contribution to CVJHP in honor of the late Daniel Brigham, great-grandson of Ayres Julião Brigham and Esther Cohen Brigham, will help CVJHP underwrite the publication of Benoliel Coutinho's book on the Moroccan Jews of Cabo Verde. The Hebrew inscriptions on the tombstones of Daniel's anscestors buried in the Jewish cemeteries in Santo Antão, translate Brigham as "Ohayon," a well-known name among Moroccan Jews. Daniel's wife, Celina, recently passed away and we send heartfelt condolences to her daughters, Isabel and Carla, as well as to the entire Brigham Gomes family. I had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Brigham in 1995 for "Washington Jewish Week," part of the many interviews I conducted with Jewish descendants to capture memories. Daniel's poignant statement captures the essence of Judaism, which places emphasis on ethical conduct over rituals.

A prominent businessman in Praia, Daniel told me: "When I was 10 years old, I witnessed my grandfather's burial (Abraham Julião Brigham). Although I am not religious, I try to follow the Ten Commandments. I'd like to think I conform to the basic tenets of the Jewish faith. I am very proud of the fact that I have a Jewish rib."
Dona Celina Gomes with photos of husband Daniel (center) and Daniel's parents
Daniel Brigham, husband of Celina and father of Isabel and Carla Brigham
CVJHP would also like to recognize the "two Allans," that is Mr. Allan Reich, longtime CVJHP Board member, and Mr. Allan Myer, who donates on behalf of "The Raymond Frankel Foundation." We also applaud Mr. Peter Benoliel, a descendant of the legendary Benoliel family, who lives near Philadelphia, for his consistent contributions. We greatly appreciate their generosity and steadfast annual support.
Local volunteers from left, Issac Benoliel, Januario Nascimento, Simão Levy, Carol Castiel, Sofia de Oliveira Lima, CVJHP representative.
Top left, Celia Delgado (Benchimol) and Carol Castiel in Boa Vista 2019. We return this year to persevere. Below, Celia's mother, famous chef, Dona Josefina "Cesaltina" Benchimol Duarte.
Top right, Abrão Levy in Praia in 2019. Below, CVJHP rep in Cabo Verde, Sofia de Oliveira Lima.
Saluting our terrific local volunteers/descendants picutured above beginning with Sofia de Oliveira Lima, CVJHP representative in Cabo Verde and descendent of the Wahnon family; Celia Delgado, descendant of the Benchimol family from Santa Catarina in São Tiago; Simão Levy, descendant of the Levy-Bentub family from Santo Antão; Januario Nascimento, descendant of the Auday family from Santo Antão and Carlos Bentub, from Santo Antão.
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We know there are many worthy causes that compete for your scarce resources this year. But we welcome any level of donation you can afford. Every dollar helps defray our essential program costs. If you can make CVJHP a regular part of your annual giving plans, we'd be all the more grateful. Please help us honor the memory and document the legacy of the Jews of Cabo Verde. CVJHP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization so contributions are tax-deductible under the law.