Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project Newsletter
Project UpdateDecember 2011
Jewish Cemetery in Fes, Morocco

Joshua Marrache, researcher, Gibraltar

Mesod Belilo, archivist, Jewish Community of Gibraltar

Jewish Cemetery in Boa Vista, Cape Verde

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Dear Friends and Supporters of CVJHP,

As 2011 winds down, I would like to provide a brief update on some exciting Project progress and encourage your continued moral and financial commitment to the Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project, Inc.

In late 2011, the Project received strong support from the Kingdom of Morocco. Upon learning of the CVJHP goals -- to restore and preserve the burial grounds and document the contributions of the many Moroccan and Gibraltarian Jews who emigrated to Cape Verde in the 19th century -- His Majesty King Mohammed VI honored us by becoming a major benefactor of the Project.  This significant backing will enable us to move more quickly and confidently to achieve our goals of cemetery restoration, historic documentation and promotion of heritage tourism. It also affirms the inextricable links among these countries: MoroccoCape Verde, Portugal, UK (Gibraltar) and the United States
On my recent trip to Morocco I briefed Advisory Board members H.E. Andre Azoulay and Ambassador Aziz Mekouar and had the honor of meeting the President of the Jewish Community of Fez, Dr. Armand Guigui.  


My odyssey to Gibraltar confirmed the critical connection between that UK territory and the Jewish presence in Cape Verde.  Almost all of the surnames of the Cape Verdean Jewish families can be traced to Gibraltar, where the majority of Jews are of Moroccan origin, primarily from Tetouan.  The Gibraltarian Jewish   community welcomed me with open arms and stand ready to collaborate with the CVJHP, particularly on the research and documentaion phase. Their archives contain vital information about the many Jews who emigrated to Cape Verde.  Without a doubt, Gibraltar is the key to writing the story of the Jews of Cape Verde! 




The November 30, 2010 fundraising dinner honoring Congressman Barney Frank was a big success. Thanks again to all who attended this benefit graciously hosted by Portuguese Ambassador Joao de Vallera.




Request for Monument Status Approved -  CVJHP has received a positive response from the Cape Verdean Ministry of Culture which pledged to proceed with classifying the Jewish cemeteries and other places of memory as national historical patrimony.   


Cemetery Restoration Underway - Based on a memorandum of understanding between CVJHP and the Municipality of Praia, we expect that restoration of the Jewish burial plot in Praia will begin in early 2012. We look forward to assembling a delegation during mid to late 2012 for a re-dedication ceremony.  If you want to join us, please let us know!! We plan to accelerate the pace of restoration and preservation in Boa Vista and Santo Antao as well.


In early 2011, I made educational presentations about the Project to the Manhattan JCC and to the Sephardic Synagogue of Philadelphia, Mikveh Israel. We hope to do much more outreach in Canada (Montreal & Toronto) and in the U.S. in the year ahead.


If you have not made your annual donation to the Project, it is not too late. Please see our revamped web site: There is a Giving Section and a Donate button for your convenience. Take a moment to watch a video which highlights the Project's background and significance.  


Or you may send a check to: CVJHP, 400 Massachussetts Ave. NW, Suite 812, Washingon, DC.  20001


CVJHP is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organizatio. Donations are tax-deductable to the fullest extent allowed by law.


The Executive Board and I have been heartened by the patronage of H.M. King Mohammed VI.  We are gratified that a Muslim monarch has found our Project worthy of support. Please consider adding your name and gift to this important cause of honoring the memory of the Jews of Cape Verde by preserving their cemeteries and documenting their legacy. 
With gratitude and mantenhas,
Carol Castiel
Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project