The designation of Sephardic Jews refers to the descendants of the ancient Jews and traditional Jewish communities of the Iberian Peninsula.
The presence of these communities in the Iberian Peninsula is very old, and even before the formation of the Iberian Christian kingdoms, as was the case with Portugal.
Having these Jewish communities, from the late fifteenth century and after the Alhambra Edict of 1492, been the object of persecution by the Spanish Inquisition, many of its members took refuge then in Portugal.
However, King Manuel, who had initially issued a law that guaranteed their protection, he ordered the expulsion of all Sephardic Jews that did not apply to the Catholic baptism. Thus, many Sephardic Jews were expelled from Portugal in the late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century.
In general, these peninsular Jews established – if, among others, in countries like the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Turkey as well as in parts of North Africa and later in American territories, including Brazil, Argentina , Mexico and the United States of America (USA).
Despite the persecution and expulsion of their ancestral territory have, many Sephardic Jews of origin portuguese and their descendants kept not only the Portuguese language, but also the traditional rites of the ancient Jewish worship in Portugal, saving over generations their surnames, objects and documents proving their Portuguese origin, along with a strong memorial relationship that leads them to qualify themselves to themselves as “Portuguese Jews ‘or’ Jews of the Portuguese Nation”.
Sephardic Jews can claim back the Portuguese Citizenship.
Sefarad, in Hebrew, means Spain, thus, Sephardic means Spanish. The term Sephardi refers to the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula until 1492 and to their descendants.
Yes, you can. The Law is open to Jewish and non-Jewish people of Sephardic origin, provided that they can prove their Sephardic origin. The religion of the applicant does not matter, what matters is proving the Sephardic ancestry.
The main step: the applicant who aims obtain Portuguese nationality must require a certificate to the Portuguese Jewish community. This certificate attests his ties with a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin. The request to obtain the certificate must be addressed to the Jewish community of Porto or the Jewish Community of Lisbon.
For more information, please get in touch or alternatively visit my website on this subject regarding the Sephardic Jews to Portugal.