Articles

Shavei Israel publishes Shabbat guide in Italian

Cover of new Shavei Birkon in Italian

Cover of new Shavei Birkon in Italian

Shavei Israel has published its first comprehensive guide in Italian to the prayers, songs and customs of the Shabbat table for use primarily by the Bnei Anousim in Sicily and southern Italy. The birkon (the title is from the Hebrew for “blessing”) was created by Shavei Israel’s emissary to the Bnei Anousim in southern Italy, Rabbi Pinchas Punturello, along with the head of Shavei Israel’s Bnei Anousim department in Israel, Tzivia Kusminsky.

The guide is centered around the full birkat hamazon (Grace after Meals), which is included in Hebrew, Italian and an Italian transliteration. The Sabbath Kiddush and Havdalah prayers appear as well.

In addition, there are traditional zemirot (songs) for the Sabbath (with commentaries on each song’s meaning and its country of origin); popular modern Israeli religious songs used on Shabbat; and songs in Italian and the Spanish-Hebrew language of Ladino. There are stories about Jewish communities from all round the world – Bnei Anousim in Italy, Spain, Portugal and South America, of course; but also the history of Jews in more far-flung places like China and India.

The new birkon is intended first for the Bnei Anousim with whom Rabbi Punturello works but, he says, “You don’t have to be a southern Italian Jew to pray with our birkon. It will also be available for any Italian Jew who is getting closer to our tradition!”

An initial run of 250 copies of the birkon have been printed. Rabbi Punturello will be bringing them to Calabria, Puglia and Sicily on his next visit to Italy. “And I will personally offer it to some important Italian rabbis as a gift from Shavei Israel,” he adds.

Why is Shavei Israel publishing an Italian birkon now? “We have other simple birkonim in Italian, but this is the first that serves as a full guide for Shabbat, with a complete collection of songs, explanations and history in addition to the prayers. Before this, when we would hold our Shabbotonim [weekend seminars] for Bnei Anousim in Italy, we would use the birkon that Shavei Israel produced previously…in Spanish!”

In addition to Spanish, Shavei Israel has published a similar guide to Shabbat in Polish. We wrote about that here.

Shavei Israel opens its first Internet radio station – in Portuguese

Tune in to www.radioshabel.com

Tune in to www.radioshabel.com

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.

Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund wins “Lion of Zion” award

 

Shavei israel Chairman Michael Freund this week with Bnei Menashe new immigrant at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel

Shavei israel Chairman Michael Freund this week with Bnei Menashe new immigrant at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel

We are delighted to announce that Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund has received the 2014 Moskowitz Prize for Zionism.

Dubbed the “Lion of Zion” award, the prize was established by Dr. Irving and Cherna Moskowitz in 2008 “in recognition of the people who put Zionism into action in today’s Israel society, at times risking their own personal security, placing the collective before personal needs, and doing what it takes to ensure a strong, secure and resilient national Jewish homeland.”

Freund joins two other recipients for this year’s award: Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, who founded the JobKatif employment agency for former residents of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, and archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay, who created the “Temple Mount Sifting Project” to reclaim archaeological relics from debris removed from the Temple Mount during 1999-2000.

The three winners and their organizations will split a cash prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony in Jerusalem, not far from Barkay’s excavation center, this Thursday, May 29, 2014, the day after Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day.

Moskowitz Prize logoThe Moskowitz Prize organization explains that the need for this award “arose from the feeling, shared by many, that the true Zionist heroes in today’s Israel – those known to the public as well as those far outside the public spotlight, both young and old – do not always receive the institutional recognition and public praise they deserve.”

Freund joins past prize winners including Yigal Cohen-Organ, the chancellor of Ariel University; former Mossad chief Meir Dagan; Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh b’Nefesh; and Israeli emergency medicine innovator Dr. Yitzhak Glick.

The “Lion of Zion” prize committee consists of Cherna Moskowitz, former Defense Minister Prof. Moshe Arens, Rabbi Yedidya Atlas, Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, Brig. General Avigdor Kahalani, Rabbi Pesach Lerner and Rabbi Daniel Moskowitz. Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Yisrael Aumann serves as the organization’s special academic advisor. Ruth J. Lieberman is the overall director.

Please join us in congratulating Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund and all the award recipients for this special honor.

A chocolate Seder? Pesach activities for Bnei Anousim and “Hidden Jews” of Poland

El Salvador hosts star-studded “congress” for Bnei Anousim

Shavei Israel publishes new Purim booklet in Spanish

A new Torah for Cartagena, Colombia

From expulsion to expediency: Spain, the Jews and Israel

Modern day Exodus: the remarkable story of El Salvador’s Bnei Anousim community

Pictures from candle-lighting in Palermo’s infamous Steri prison

Historic Hanukkah Ceremony at Inquisition Prison

Shavei Israel Hanukah activities in Europe, South America and India

New Shavei Israel emissaries to Poland and South America

Shavei Israel publishes new Hanukah guide in Spanish and Russian

Majorca’s master chef returns to the Jewish people

Shavei Israel to light Hanukah candles in infamous Inquisition prison

Seminar for Chuetas takes place in Palma de Mallorca

Seminar for Italian Jews and Bnei Anousim in Israel

When in Rome, do as Jews do

Dozens attend panel on Chuetas in Palma de Mallorca

Grazia’s Mediterranean Lasagna

VIDEO: Gila and Ariel Arditi get married

Shavei Israel appoints new Latin American emissaries

Portuguese town gets first Torah in 500 years

A visit to the Belmonte Jewish community in Portugal

Bnei Anousim couple return to Judiasm, re-marry in Jewish ceremony

Yeshiva for Bnei Anousim in Colombia launched

Shavei Israel helps organize Shabbaton for more than 100 Colombian Bnei Anousim in Bogota

100 issues of “Roots”

All-Italy Jewish seminar invites Bnei Anousim for first time

Shavei Israel and WebYeshiva launch new online interactive classes

Update: First Passover Seder on Portuguese island of Madeira

Shavei Israel sponsors first public Passover Seder in centuries on Portuguese island of Madeira

Shavei Israel visits Bnei Anousim in Chile

Shavei Israel sponsors weekend seminar in southern Italy; appoints new rabbi to work with Bnei Anousim

Shavei Israel launches interactive virtual course in Spanish

First Jewish cultural center in Portugal in more than 500 years to open; Shavei Israel to administer programming

[Washington Post] From Colombian evangelicals to Jews in region with a hidden Jewish past

Justice at last: the “Portuguese Dreyfus” is posthumously reinstated

Justice at Last for “Portugese Dreyfus”, Artur de Barros Basto

Ancient “kina” for Tisha B’Av discovered

Tiny Portuguese village inaugurates state-of-the-art new Jewish Center and synagogue

Was Columbus secretly a Jew?

Shavei Israel publishes new prayer book in Portuguese

Michael Freund interview on the Aaron Klein show on WABC

Shavei Israel launches new Spanish-language website for Bnei Anousim

Special Chueta recipe: Mallorcan Passover almond torte

Shavei Israel holds seminar for remote Brazilian community of Bnei Anousim

Closing the circle in Mallorca

Michael Freund returns to the 92Y for a conversation with Chueta Regina Forteza

Jews of Majorca reconnect with their roots

Michael Freund to speak at Hong Kong JCC

Shavei Israel visits Portugal – report and pictures

Connecting with “Lost Jews” Throughout the World

The Everlasting Light: Rabbi Shlomo Riskin visits Belmonte, Portugal

Shavei Israel sending books to Palma de Mallorca for six Chuetas hoping to formally return to Judaism soon

Clinging to Judaism

Time to rehabilitate Portugal’s Dreyfus

A special seminar in Palma de Mallorca for Spain’s Bnei Anousim and Chuetas

Fundamentally Freund – Jewish life in Sicily reborn

First of its kind seminar for Marranos in Siciliy

Chuetas from Spanish Island of Majorca Recognized as Jewish

‘Lost tribe’ of Mallorca Jews welcomed back to the faith 600 years later

Six centuries after their forcible conversion, a leading Israeli rabbi rules that the Chuetas of Mallorca are Jews

Chuetas of Majorca recognized as Jewish

Majorcan Descendants of Spanish Jews Who Converted Are Recognized as Jews

Fundamentally Freund:The death of an Italian marrano

This Shavuot, you can help three brave women rejoin the Jewish people

An historic condemnation of the Inquisition in Palma de Mallorca

Apologizing for the Inquisition

For first time, Spain’s Balearic Islands officially condemn persecution and forced conversion of Chuetas

In Majorca, Atoning for the Sins of 1691

The Renaissance of the B’nai Anousim (Crypto-Jews)

A special Yom Kippur Mahzor has been released

New emissary to the ‘crypto-Jew’s in Portugal

Rabbi Elisha Salas to be Emissary to Portugal’s Crypto-Jews

New emissary to crypto-Jews of Portugal named

First ex-Marrano Israeli rabbi returns to Spain as emissary

One Nation, Many Faces

בן לקהילת האנוסים חוזר לספרד לשמש כרב הקהילה

A 500-year journey back to Judaism

Just call him Chaim Columbus

Secret no more

‘Lost’ Jews in Spain find Israel advocacy

Israel enlisting Marranos in PR effort

Iberian anusim make first kosher cheese

Uncovering Portugal’s Hidden Jewish Past

Brazil: Jews to celebrate Rosh Hashana with new prayer book

A delegation of 16 בני אנוסים, commonly referred to as Marranos by historians, visited Israel this week

Descendants of Marranos arrive in Israel

Exhibit on Crypto-Jews Tours Brazil

A Latin Love for Israel

In Toledo on Seder night, Antonio Lopez will mark Pessah alone, just as his ancestors did for centuries

Marranos come home

Bnai Anousim Visit Israel on Solidarity Mission

Iberian Jews Return to their Roots

Young Brazilian Anousim Visit Israel on Birthright

Exhibition on Crypto-Jews Opens in Tiberias

Spanish & Portuguese Crypto-Jews Gather for Barcelona Seminar

First Outreach Center for Brazilian Anousim Opens

After Five Centuries, Bnai Anousim Visit Israel

Jewish community emerges from hiding in Portugal after 500 years

Hidden Heritage

Reaching Out to Portugal’s Crypto-Jews

Brazil’s Anousim Get a Rabbi

Spain’s Crypto-Jews Seeking to Return

Build A Monument to the Inquisition

The First Kohen in 500 Years

Majorca’s Lost Jews Search for their Roots

The 500-Year Round Trip

A Synopsis of the History of the Jews in Portugal

Portugal´s President: ´I am proud of my Jewish ancestry´