NEW: Kosher cheese in Belmonte with Rav Elisha Salas

NEW: Kosher cheese in Belmonte with Rav Elisha Salas

Looking for kosher cheese in Portugal? Head to Belmonte where Shavei Israel’s emissary Rabbi Elisha Salas is supervising a new line of kosher sheep cheese. (That’s our esteemed rabbi in the hair bonnet above presiding over a large vat of sheep milk!)

This is not Rabbi Salas’s first dip into cheese-making. He has supervised cheese production in Trancoso, another Portuguese city with a Bnei Anousim community.

The latest in Shavei Israel’s fragrant cheese ops is sponsored by Rabbi Usher Eckstein, who teaches in New York where he also provides kosher supervision.

All of the new sheep cheeses are certified chalav israel.

Rabbi Elisha says that not only is the kosher cheese work in Belmonte tasty, but it provides work for local Jewish families, descendants of Bnei Anousim, living in Belmonte.

Alicante community with Rabbi Salas

Alicante community with Rabbi Salas

Rabbi Salas has been on the road more than usual: he has taken over for Shavei Israel’s emissary Rabbi Nissan Ben-Avraham in Spain, teaching classes and visiting communities in that neighboring nation. He recently visited the Bnei Anousim community in Alicante, meeting with the president, teaching a class of ten people and welcoming Shabbat.

“There is no regular minyan [quorum of ten men] in Alicante,” Rabbi Salas reports, “and this was the first time in the history of the community that shacharit [the morning service] was performed.”

The community has asked him to increase their days of study.

“They do not want to let me rest!” he quips.

Here are some more pictures.