An Israel Museum experience
As part of our Ma’ani Center programming, with the aim of preserving, promoting and disseminating the unique heritage and culture of the various communities, we brought a group of 32 people to the Israel Museum under the guidance of our own Edith Blaustein in Spanish. Our participants were people who returned to their Jewish roots, and passed their conversion through our Machon Miriam Spanish conversion program.
We opened the activity with an introduction by Rabbi Eliyahu Shefer, rabbi of the community in Belmonte, Portugal. It was very emotional to hear his personal story which you can hear in the following video. (Hebrew with Spanish translation).
In addition, Rabbi Shefer gave a couple of books to us as a gift. One was his personal memoir, which includes the story of how his mother sold a family menorah to the museum to have money for his education in Israel. The other book is about his investigations into the ancient Jewish tombs of Belmonte.
Eliav Riera, who participated in the tour remarked, “Through the passage of years it’s very interesting how the Jewish traditions and customs survived. This is evidence of just how eternal is the Jewish people.”