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Online Program

Adventures Online: The Jewish Heritage of Portugal

Program No. 24311RJ
Join experts for an immersive look into Portugal’s Jewish community through history during this live, online learning adventure that offers a look into Jewish heritage and traditions.
3 days
Rating (5)
Starts at

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At a Glance

Portugal has a rich Jewish history that is both complicated and fascinating. Join historians and authors for a live, online learning adventure that offers a look into the traditions and modern life of Portugal’s Jewish community. Embark on virtual field trips to the town of Tomar to learn about one of the oldest medieval synagogues in Portugal, and to medieval Lisbon to trace the events of the massacre of 1506. Virtually explore the mountain region of Belmonte to get insight into its Crypto-Jew community, and take a virtual journey to Cascais and Estoril to explore the history of the Portuguese Riviera. Take in lectures and presentations on the history of Jewish presence in Portugal, meet author Richard Zimler to hear about his novel on the 1506 massacre, learn about the evolution of the Portuguese diet and how it relates to different religious groups, and discuss the past and present subject of refugees. Along the way, join in discussion with your fellow Road Scholars as you become immersed in the stories and history of Portugal’s Jewish heritage.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Meet American journalist Richard Zimler and author of “The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon,” to learn about the 1506 massacre in Lisbon, and hear about his experience as an American Jew living in Portugal for 30 years.
  • Join the historian Inês Brandão to learn about the history of refugees who stayed in Portugal between 1936-1955, and hear stories of Aristides Sousa Mendes, known as the Portuguese Schindler.
  • Take a virtual field trip to Belmonte to learn about its Crypto-Jew community, and learn how the community was contacted by mine engineer Samuel Schwarz.

General Notes

You’ll enjoy 2-3 hours of daily instruction, discussion and/or field trips, which includes sufficient breaks throughout the program. This online program is through Zoom, an easy-to-use web video service that includes closed captioning. All you need is an Internet connection and your computer. We’ll provide a how-to guide to make sure you’ll have a hassle-free experience. This session is offered live only and will not be available on demand. Please review the daily itinerary for start and end times to ensure you won’t miss a minute of this live experience. All times are listed in the EASTERN time zone. If you live in a different time zone, please adjust your schedule accordingly.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal
by Dolores Sloan
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon
by Richard Zimler
GARBO: The Spy Who Saved D-Day (Secret History Files)
by National Archives (Author), Mark Seaman (introduction)
Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-45
by Neil Lochery
The Lisbon Route: Entry and Escape in Nazi Europe
by Ronald Weber
Guardian of the Dawn
by Richard Zimler
The Jews of Spain
by Jane S. Gerber
Online article Digging Portugal's Jewish Past: Samuel Schwarz (1880- 1953)
by Claude B. Stuczynski, Bar-Ilan University
Online article “Portuguese Crypto-Jews: The Genetic Heritage of a Complex History”
by Inês Nogueiros and others
Hunting Midnight
by Richard Zimler

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.