JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen (Portugal) Portugal Starts Granting Citizenship Rights to Inquisition Descendants #general
Jan Meisels Allen
Earlier this I year I reported that Portugal had a new law offering dual
citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews who were victims of the
Inquisition over 500 years ago. The law became effective February 26, 2015
and as of March 2, 2015 members of the Sephardic Jewish communities of
Portuguese origin were entitled to apply for Portuguese nationality. On
October 2 the Justice Ministry announced they approved the first three of
over 200 applications they received.
Among the successful applicants are Alfonso Paredes Henriquez, a
Panama-based real estate developer, and his brother. Originally they were
going to apply to Spain for the dual citizenship but Spain's law was delayed
-that law was passed in June 2015 and became effective earlier this month.
One of the organizations vetting applications, the Jewish Community of
Oporto in northern Portugal, said Paredes Henriquez is a descendant of
Spanish and Portuguese Jews. His ancestors were Rabbi Eliau Abraham Lopez,
the great Sephardic rabbi of the Spanish-Portuguese community in Curacao and
of Spanish origin, and his wife Rachel Nunes da Fonseca, of Portuguese
origin. The Community issued certificates for Jews >from 23 countries with
two-thirds of them for Sephardic Jews >from Turkey.
With the dual citizenship, the grantees are entitled to a passport and the
right to work and live in the 28-nation European Union.
To read more see: http://tinyurl.com/o2u67s8
Thank you to Randy Herschaft, Associated Press for informing us of the
This is very timely for the Inaugural Knesset Caucus for Reconnection with
Descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Communities which meets
today in Jerusalem and where Genie Milgram, President of the JGS of Greater
Miami and Society for Crypto Judaic Studies will be presenting as the voice
of the descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Crypto Jews.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee