December 2019 Update from CVJHP
Reinforcing bonds with local partners on Restoration, Signage and Maintenance; Promoting Jewish Heritage Tourism
Dear Friends of the Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project,
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year from CVJHP! As we ring in 2020 and a new decade, I am pleased to share some results from my recent whirlwind trip to Cabo Verde:

  • Praia. We kick-started plans to enhance and maintain the restored burial plot in the main Christian cemetery of the capital, Praia. Mayor Oscar Santos and his staff are expediting needed maintenance and signage. A fresh coat of paint will be applied to the chain link fence and wooden perimeter of the burial plot; a walkway to facilitate visits has been paved and will be further refined. We are currently working on the design and placement of signage with City Hall architect, Paulo Cesar. Djunta mon!

  • Boa Vista. Descendant of the Benchimol family, former scholarship recipient and valued friend, Célia Delgado, joined me in Boa Vista where we strive to combat deleterious effects of the salty sea air on the cemetery walls. Several consecutive years of insufficient rainfall have withered plants and donkeys roam into the sacred space. So, Mayor José Luis Santos and his staff promised to immediately embark on a concerted effort, along with a specialist in the restoration of historical monuments, to re-do the walls, pull weeds and institute a permanent plant watering and comprehensive maintenance regimen. A big shout out to Tito Ramos, artist and descendant of the Benoliel family, who volunteered to collaborate.
From left: At Praia City Hall w/Oscar Santos, Mayor; Carol Castiel, President CVJHP; Sofia de Oliveira Lima, CVJHP Representative in Cabo Verde; Maria Aleluia Andrade, Councilwoman; Flavio Delgado, descendant; "Tober" Lopes da Silva, Councilma n
From left: Flavio Delgado, descendant; DCM, US Embassy, Amanda Porter; Carol Castiel, President, CVJHP at Jewish burial plot in Praia
From left: Carol Castiel, President CVJHP; José Gonçalves, Minister of Tourism and Transportation ; Francisco Sanches Martins, Director General 
Carlos Barbosa, left, in charge of video production for upcoming "Jews of Cabo Verde Conference" slated for May 2020; Jaylson Monteiro, Director of Monuments, Instituto do Patrim ôni nio Cultural (IPC).
Gathering of Descendants in Praia
Beach in Santa Maria, Sal Island
Meetings. As the photos above and to the left illustrate, we had the privilege of meeting with American DCM Amanda Porter, who visited the Jewish burial plot in Praia for the first time. We consolidated our cherished relationship with the US Embassy, a valued partner and benefactor. We solidified the CVJHP/IPC partnership ( Instituto do Património Cultural.) I also met with many descendants who agreed to take turns in monitoring the upkeep of the historical patrimony of their ancestors, primarily the cemeteries. In addition, we had excellent conversations with the Minister of Tourism and Transportation, Jos é Gon ç alves, and Director General, Francisco Sanches Martins. In Sal, we established a key relationship with the Chamber of Tourism.

We have achieved much over the past 10 years. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, CVJHP raised funds for and global awareness about the Moroccan Jews of Cabo Verde. We garnered vital financial support from H.M. King Mohammed VI of Morocco; Founder of the Center for Middle East Peace, S. Daniel Abraham; the World Monuments Fund; the US Embassy in Praia; the Bergman Family Foundation and many other valued individual donors. We established MOU's with local governments and the central government to operate in country. We succeeded in having the Jewish cemeteries classified as "National, Historical and Cultural Patrimony." We have made significant headway in restoring four cemeteries and creating signage. A book manuscript is nearing completion. FULL STEAM AHEAD in 2020 as we continue our important work. Thank you/Obrigada to all! Djunta Mon!

Mantenhas, Carol Castiel, President, CVJHP

Please help us honor the memory and document the legacy of Cabo Verde's Moroccan Jewish immigrants. Gifts made by December 31st are tax-deductible for 2019. But we welcome your financial and moral support at any time of the year. It's a "mitzvah" to honor the deceased; CVJHP will persevere in doing just that for our Moroccan brethren in Cabo Verde.

Cabo Verde Chamber of Tourism in Sal. From left: Humberto S. L é lis; Carol Castiel, Sonia Leite

Castiel with descendant Abr ã o Levy in 2009
Januario Nascimento, descendant of Auday family; catalyst and inspiration for the creation of CVJHP to restore and preserve Jewish burial grounds and document the legacy of the Jews of Cabo Verde.
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