Kadoorie Synagogue in Porto

Wednesday, 11 October 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions
Reading Time:  5 minutes

© ComunidadeIsraelitaPorto/cc-by-sa-4.0

© ComunidadeIsraelitaPorto/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue (Portuguese: Sinagoga do Porto/Sinagoga Kadoorie Mekor Haim) is a synagogue of the Jewish community of Porto, situated in the civil parish of Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos, the municipality of Porto, in the Portuguese northern district of Porto. Constructed along the Rua Guerra Junqueiro beginning in 1929 and inaugurated in 1938, it is the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula.

The building is in an urban context, on an elevated platform encircled by fencing between Rua Guerra Junqueiro and Rua João Martins Branco, in an area of residential homes called Campo Alegre. To the north is a barrio, while to the rear is a small parking lot and the Clube de Ténis do Porto (Porto Tennis Club). Near the rear wall is the Cemitério de Agra Monte (Agra Monte Cemetery) along Rua João Martins Branco.

The temple consists of rectangular structure oriented west to east, covered in differentiated roof tile. Over the entranceway and services is a cupola. The principal facade, oriented to the west, is marked by a galilee with a large arch, with the main portal inset in a recess. In the centre is a balcony with inscriptions and a glazed colonnade, while over the center of the arch is a star of David.

The lateral facades, to the north and south, are characterized by a regular rhythmic distribution of elongated triangular-topped windows. The rear facade, windowless and symmetrical, consists of a plane from which three protruding volumes of flat roof stand out.

© ComunidadeIsraelitaPorto/cc-by-sa-4.0 © ComunidadeIsraelitaPorto/cc-by-sa-4.0 © ComunidadeIsraelitaPorto/cc-by-sa-4.0 Library © ComunidadeIsraelitaPorto/cc-by-sa-4.0 © JoaoMirandaBot/cc-by-sa-3.0 © ComunidadeIsraelitaPorto/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Library © ComunidadeIsraelitaPorto/cc-by-sa-4.0
The interior is marked by an entrance space flanked by two rooms, followed by the large rectangular hall, flanked on either side by two landing steps and two accessways to further spaces. The hall is the principal celebration space, with a domed ceiling, and is contoured on the upper level by a balcony with two rows of arranged chairs. The remainder of the interior is decorated with Hebrew passages from the Torah, complemented by MoroccanSephardic decorations.

According to the official blog of the community, it includes about 500 Jews originally from more than thirty countries and gathers all standards and degrees of observance of Judaism. In recent years, the members of the community have connected the organization with the rest of the Jewish world, written the Community’s rules, restored the synagogue building, organized departments and created the necessary conditions for Jewish life to flourish again in Oporto. The organisation has a beit din, two official rabbis, and structures for kashrut. It offers courses to schoolteachers to combat anti-Semitism, and has a Jewish Museum, a cinema, films about its history, and cooperation protocols with the Portuguese state, the Israeli Embassy to Portugal, B’nai B’rith International, the Anti-Defamation League, Keren Hayesod, and Chabad Lubavitch, as well as with the Oporto Diocese and Oporto’s Muslim community. The community has an “ecumenical approach” to relating to their non-Jewish neighbors and focuses on education and outreach, cooperating and working on joint projects with the Catholic diocese and Muslim communities. The creation of the Jewish Museum of Oporto is included in a strategy of the local Jewish community to fight antisemitism. This strategy includes school visits to Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue, films about the history of the Jews in Portugal; courses for secondary school teachers and others who are interested in themes relating to Judaism and the history of the Jews, and visits to the city’s Holocaust Museum. In January 2021, the Holocaust Museum of Porto opened, the first of its kind in the Iberian Peninsula.

Read more on Jewish Community of Oporto and Wikipedia Kadoorie Synagogue (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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