Shavei Israel has opened its first Internet radio station. If you’re a Portuguese-speaker, then “tune in” to www.radioshabel.com, the home of Shavei Israel emissary Rabbi Elisha Salas’s latest project, a website that streams Jewish music and classes 24 hours a day (but not Shabbat) to anyone with a data connection, be that computer, phone or tablet.
Rabbi Salas has two aims for the station: first, to reach out to Bnei Anousim in Portugal and Brazil in an innovative way. And second, to help tourists who are planning a visit to Belmonte, where Rabbi Salas is based, to find lodgings and plan their itinerary.
To that end, there is information on the site about Beit Anousim, a Jewish house in the town where visitors can stay for a night or get a hot kosher meal. Rabbi Salas also holds his in-person classes at Beit Anousim, and the Belmonte Bnei Anousim community gathers there for Shabbat. The Radioshabel website offers information about Beit Anousim activities, its synagogue, the Belmonte Jewish community, Shabbat times, and which local products are certified kosher (Rabbi Salas provides the supervision).
A quick look at the Radioshabel program guide will show a mix of rotating shows: specific music shows featuring Jewish, Portuguese, Brazilian and Chilean tunes; the weekly “Coffee with the Rabbi” program where Rabbi Salas answers questions; another weekly Torah study class with the rabbi; and a show to prepare listeners for Shabbat with music and teachings.
The Radioshabel website also features an online chat section; links to videos and pictures from Portugal as well as other communities where Shavei Israel is active; the latest news of interest to Portuguese-speaking Bnei Anousim; and a link to a nearby hotel that offers kosher meals.
And this is just the beginning. There will be more classes, news and videos (including from Shavei Israel’s Machon Miriam Spanish and Portuguese-language Conversion and Return Institute in Israel) coming soon.
If you’re planning a visit to Portugal, or you just want to hear what the local community is listening to these days, click on over to www.Radioshabel.com.