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Dom Pedro I Declared Brazilian Independence from Portugal, 1822

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: September 7th, 1822

https://www.instagram.com/p/CE127AdFPTA/



#onthisday, 1822, Dom Pedro I declares Brazilian independence from Portugal - initiating a stream of Moroccan-Jewish immigration to the newly formed South American nation. For the first time, Brazilian Jews would finally be free of the Inquisition and other state-sponsored persecutions.

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Since 1773, life for Brazilian Jews had significantly improved after discrimination against them had been abolished by a Portuguese royal decree.

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By 1824, the first Moroccan Jews to arrive set up a synagogue in the northern Brazilian city of Belem and called it Porta do Ceu (Gate of Heaven) and soon, one in Manaus would open its doors.

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By 1879, Sephardim had settled all the way down the Amazon rainforest area, with a very strong presence in Iquitos, Peru.

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By 1914, Belem's Sephardic-Moroccan Jewish community numbered 800 people with their own social club and charity organizations.

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Their story is incredibly compelling; as Morrocan entrepreneurs, they came to Latin America in search of a fresh start. These immigrants have become an integral part of the Latin American Jewish community.

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In 2020, Brazil boasts a rich Jewish community with representatives across the spectrum of observancy and heritage.

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In numbers, Brazil has about 120,000 Jews, over 40 active synagouges, various kosher restaurants / markets in major cities, over 200 associations involved in Zionism, Jewish education, and charity.

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Due to economic instability in the South American nation and general uptick in opportunities, over 8,000 Brazilian Jews have made Aliyah to Israel since 1948.

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Text Source: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/brazil

Image Source: Public Domain, Portrait of Dom Pedro, Duke of Bragança - Google Art Project edited.jpeg



✍: @mstarikovsky

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