The restoration of one of Portugal's oldest Jewish temples - the Sahar Hassamain Synagogue in Ponta Delgada, Azores -
kicked off Monday in a ceremony conducted by Mayor José Manuel Bolieiro, and attended by state Sen. Michael
Rodrigues, D-Westport, and Gideon Gradman, president of the Massachusetts based Azorean-Jewish Heritage
The restoration project is scheduled to be completed in eight months. It will cost about $290,000, which will be provided
by European Union groups devoted to the preservation of historical monuments.
"This intervention is not limited to recovering the architectural features" of the building, said Bolieiro at the ceremony held
in the worship room of the synagogue. "We plan to create the necessary conditions for the preservation of the memory of
Jewish presence in the Azores, through turning it into a museum."
The synagogue last functioned as a place of worship about 50 years ago. A library and museum will be incorporated into
the main sanctuary.
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