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                              THE JEWS OF PORTUGAL
                     Between Persecution and Martyrdom
                                  September 9-19, 2024
          led by Prof. Shalom Sabar and Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller


The tragic story of Portuguese Jewry from the earliest times to the forcible conversion of 1497 and beyond is the theme of this study tour on the Jews of Portugal. The itinerary includes the main localities and remains of Jewish interest which enable us to reconstruct Jewish life in medieval Portugal and crypto-Jewish life for five centuries. Daily lectures survey various aspects of Jewish history in Portugal including the origins of Portuguese Jewry, communal and social life, the Jews in the service of the crown, cultural and religious life, science and literature, Hebrew books from Portugal, the arrival of Castilian Jews after 1492, Spanish and Portuguese Jewry between expulsion and conversion, exodus and flight, the Portuguese Inquisition and auto-da-fe, crypto-Jews from 1497 until today, and the Portuguese Diaspora in the east and west. Jewish art, Hebrew printing and ketubbot in Portugal, art and culture in the Portuguese Diaspora are studied and viewed. The seminar examines the fascinating chapters in Jewish history, the life of a community that reflects heroism, loyalty, martyrdom and suffering.


Mon Sep 9      Arrival in Lisbon.                                                                                                        LISBON


Tue, Sep 10    Orientation and Lecture: The Defining Characteristics of Portuguese Jewry,  K. Aron-Beller                                  Travel to Marvão, a small medieval village. Packed kosher lunch. Continue to Castelo de                                        Vide where we visit the synagogue located in the old Jewish Quarter. Continue to Covilhã.                                                                                                                                                                          COVILHÃ

Wed Sep 11     Visit the Jewish Quarter of Covilhã. Packed vegetarian lunch.

                         Travel to Trancoso to visit the Yizhak Cardozo Jewish Center and the recently inaugurated                                   synagogue. Continue to Vilar Formoso to see the museum, Vilar Formoso Frontier of

                         Peace and Memorial of the Refugees and the Consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes. COVILHÃ

Thu Sep 12      Lecture: The Judearia: Jewish Life in Medieval Portugal, K.Aron-Beller

                         Lecture: Jewish Art in the Iberian Peninsula: From Roman Times to Islamic and Christian                                     Influences, S. Sabar

                         Travel to Belmonte where a crypto-Jewish community that has survived until modern

                         times returned to Judaism. Visit the modern synagogue and the Museu Judaico de

                         Belmonte with one of the best collections of its kind in Portugal. Packed lunches.

                         Travel to Gouveia to visit Da Casa Vivencia Judaica de Gouveia.

                         Continue to Oporto.                                                                                                      OPORTO                     

Fri Sep 13        Lecture: Spanish Refugees in Portugal and Portuguese Jews in the Royal Court, K.Aron-Beller                             Lecture: From Spain to Portugal: Hebrew Printing in the Iberian Peninsula, S.Sabar

                         Visit the synagogue of Oporto where Barros Basto founded his Yeshiva for crypto-Jews

                         who wanted to return to Judaism. Continue to visit what was once a medieval synagogue.                                     Shabbat Services in the synagogue followed by a Shabbat dinner.                          OPORTO


Sat Sep 14       Shabbat Services followed by a Shabbat lunch.

                          Lecture: The Forcible Conversion of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, K.Aron-Beller OPORTO


Sun Sep 15      Travel to Coimbra. Visit the old university town on the Mondego River which includes the                                      square of Praco de Comercio, the Convento de Santa Cruz, the University, and the

                          location of the medieval Jewish quarter and the site of the old synagogue.

                          Visit the splendid Biblioteca Ioanina. Packed kosher lunch.

                          Continue to Tomar to view the old Jewish Quarter and the old synagogue which is now

                          a small museum. Tour the Templar castle Convento de Cristo with special attention paid

                          to the cloisters.                                                                                                                 TOMAR


Mon Sep 16      Lecture: Hebrew Manuscript Illumination in 15th Century Portugal, S. Sabar

                          Travel to Evora, a beautiful town under the protection of UNESCO, where we see the

                           Jewish quarter as well as the first century temple, the Manuelistic Loios Monastery now

                           a Pousada, the Jesuit University and the cathedral.

                           Continue to the Mouraria, the old Muslim Quarter. Continue to Lisbon.                    LISBON 


Tue Sep 17         Lecture: Crypto-Jews on Trial: The Portuguese Inquisition, K.Aron-Beller

                           Lecture Art and Culture of the Portuguese Community of Amsterdam: Between Judaism and                               Christianity, S. Sabar

                           Tour the Alfama district where we visit the old Jewish Quarter.

                           Visit Belem to view the Belem Tower and visit Jerónimos Church. Visit the synagogue.                                           Continue to the National Azulejo Musuem (Tile Museum).                                          LISBON


Wed Sep 18       Lecture: Crypto- Jewish Life in Portugal and the Portuguese Diaspora, K.Aron-Beller

                           Lecture: Circa 1492: The Last Phase of Jewish Art in the Iberian Peninsula and Its Aftermath,                               S. Sabar

                           Travel to Sintra to visit the Jewish Quarter, the Town Palace.

                           Continue to the National Library with an exhibit arranged for us to view manuscripts on                                       Portuguese Jewry. Vegetarian farewell dinner.                                                              LISBON


Thu Sep 19        Transfer to the airport for departure.




Lecturers: Prof. Shalom Sabar (Emeritus), Dept. of Art History/Dept of Folklore and Folk Culture,

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller, Lecturer in Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University

Price for land arrangements only:  Euro 3840 per person in a double room

      ***EARLY REGISTRATION BY March 26, 2024 :  Euro 3790 per person in a double room***

Single supplement:  Euro 925

                Price is based on minimum participants

Price for airfare from Israel: USD 695

                (Based on airfares in effect at time of publication and subject to change)

                People joining us from abroad should meet us at the Lisbon airport or in the hotel in Lisbon


Deposit:  Euro 900 with registration, of which Euro 500 is non-refundable.


Remainder of payment is to be paid by June 1, 2024   Please register promptly as our trips fill quickly.                                                      



R. Castilho 6 12

Tel: +351.213573094

5 stars, A/C, minibar, safe, wifi, hairdryer, fitness center



Alameda Pêro da Covilha

Tel: +351.275310000             Fax: +351.275310009

4 stars, A/C, heating, minibar, wifi, safe, hairdryer



Avenida da Boavista      

Tel: +351.226072500              Fax: +351.226003214

5 stars, A/C, minibar, safe, wifi, hairdryer, fitness/spa



Largo Cȃndido dos Reis 1

Tel: +351.249.310100

4 stars, A/C, wifi, minibar, hairdryer, health club, indoor pool




Cancellation fees:                                                  

                   May 1-31, 2024……..…..…  .. ……............20%

                   June 1-30, 2024………... ……..........…....40%

                   July 1-Aug 8, 2024…………..……......…..60%

                   Aug 9 - Departure.……..………...........…100%                


Trip includes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

  •   Lectures by Prof. Shalom Sabar and

        Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller                

  •   JHS tour escort                                                                                                                                                                                 

  •   Local English speaking tour guide                          

  •   10 nights accommodation in 4 + 5 star hotels

        with daily buffet breakfasts.

  •   Meals according to the itinerary                               

  •   Local transport by bus                                         

  •   Entrance fees according to itinerary


Not included in the price


  • Obligatory health and cancellation                      

   travel insurance                                                   

  • Tips (Euro 95)

  • Visa fees (if needed)                                      


Program subject to change:  All rights are reserved by Jewish Historical Seminars to make

staff substitutions if necessary and/or make changes to the program and conditions as

required by force majeure, including cancellation of the trip at any time due to drastic

changes in the situation. Participants are reminded that weather conditions cannot be

predicted and cancellations or changes to visits may be unavoidable.


Further information:     Contact Debbie Zuberi:  Tel: 972-54.2212503,  Fax: 972-2-5700005


                                        The trip is run in conjunction with Ayala Tours, Jerusalem                               

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