Sephardic Jews Portugal

Sephardic Jews Portugal

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 sephardic jewish 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 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”.
It is possible to claim back the Portuguese Citizenship, read through the text to learn more about or if you're interested in minors citizenship or spouse citizenship follow this internal link.

Sephardic Jews Portugal

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.

I am not Jewish, but I have Sephardic roots. Can I apply?

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.

How can I prove my Sephardic origin?

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.

following documents will be needed in order to get above Certificate

  1. Evidence of the applicant’s family history of connection to a Sephardic Community of Portuguese origin, by means of family names, direct or collateral succession, or other elements which are indicative of this connection;
  2. Proof of use of Ladino as family language; this proof can be done by filmed records, pictures of graves (with inscriptions in Ladino) or written documents (in Ladino);
  3. Any other document proving that the applicant is a Sephardic of Spanish ancestry, such as family records, family tree, births, marriages and deaths certificates, cemeteries and lists of tombs, Brit Milah records, general Government archives that show arrivals from Portugal, lists of ships and passengers arriving from Portugal;

For more information, please get in touch or alternatively visit my website on this subject regarding the Sephardic Jews to Portugal.