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Old 06-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #1
theonsushv

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Default Earliest synagogue in Americas attracts visitors to Bra-zil
http://www.reuters.com/article/world...Name=worldNews RECIFE (Reuters) - Flanked by busy bars in downtown Recife on Brazil's north-eastern shore is just a little-known value of Jewish history in the " New World " -- the oldest synagogue in the Americas. the two-story Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue was built by Sephardic Jews before 1641 -- probably in 1636 -- once they enjoyed religious liberty beneath the Dutch, who led area of the north-east area from 1630 to 1654 to control sugar production. The Mikve Israel Congregation in Curacao, a Dutch Antilles area in the Carribean, was regarded by some to have been the first congregation in the Americas. However it was started only in 1651, also by Sephardic Jews from Holland. In the world's largest Catholic country, whose most widely known i-con is the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Recife synagogue became an essential mark of the Jewish history in Brazil. Centered on old maps, ancient excavations found the remains of the synagogue, such as the unique Mikvah -- a tub for spiritual ceremonies -- under six levels of surfaces. The synagogue reopened in December 2001. Since that time it's become among the primary stops on-the city's tourist circuit and its records entice scores of Brazilian and international historians. Their studies are slowly unveiling the prominent part Jews had in early Brazilian culture. 'It problems the stereotypical view that Brazilian culture is founded on a of Portuguese, (indigenous) Indians and Africans,' mentioned Tania Kaufman, mind of the Jewish Historical Archive in Recife, the administrative centre of Pernambuco state. 'We today know Jews were a simple section of Brazil's social melting pot.' 'ECONOMIC DOMINANCE' Historical documents in Amsterdam and Bra-zil display Jews helped develop streets, the sugar industry, links, and a fundamental sewage system in-the northeast. Several also made money by trading slaves. At its peak in 1645, the Jewish community in Recife measured 1,630 people, exactly the same amount as within the flourishing Jewish community of Amsterdam, based on Dutch historian Franz Leonard Schalkwijk. 'The economic importance of the Jews caused numerous protests (from Catholics and Protestants ),' wrote Schalkwijk in his book 'Church and State in Dutch Bra-zil.' Jews were removed, killed o-r forced to go in to hiding underneath the Roman Catholic Inquisition, when Dutch rule finished in 1654. One team from Recife defied storms and pirates to achieve what's to-day Ny, where they started the very first Jewish congregation in The United States, named Shearith Israel, 'the remains of Israel.' An exhibit titled 'Pernambuco, Bra-zil - a gate way to Ny' stirred much interest at-the U.S. Center for Jewish History in 2004-05, remembers Kaufman. The renewed synagogue and renewed curiosity about the history of the ancestors is strengthening the identification of Recife's Jewish group, that has evaporated by over fifty percent to 300 people from 2 decades before as numerous left for larger towns. In 2005, Recife obtained from Israel its first permanent Rabbi since 1654. You will find four synagogues in Recife but many Jews decide to rejoice their Bar Mitzvahs and weddings in-the Kahal zur Israel due to the meaning. 'It's a massive supply of pride,' mentioned Ivan Kelner, leader of the Israelite Federation of Pernambuco state. The synagogue can also be in the middle of a larger national renaissance. In November of each year, a Jewish event providing party, food, and theatre, from fish to fluden, draws around 20,000 guests. 'The synagogue is just a image of the rebirth of Jewish tradition, it's galvanized our community,' mentioned Denys Sznejder, a who heads a Jewish folkloric party team in Recife.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
LongaDonga

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That's really amazing - I went to the oldest synagogue in europe in Spain... well before the Inquisition. It was a little room under a building... nearly sold to a bar. It was up for auction a few year before and was just outbid by the jewish community from a bar owner to put a little bar in there. How sad would have been!?
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:30 AM   #3
Biassasecumma

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Big deal there are so many much older places of worship all through Asia. Don't be so quick to be all proud of yourselves!!
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
LongaDonga

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We're not "proud" ... this is borderline stupid comment back. Yes there are plenty of older places of worship and they should all be celebrated.,..
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