The hot afternoon of June 13 rested from the festivities of Lisbon, which the previous day had livened up the whole city, extending into the long dawn. Allan and Sandy Ropper started a tour that would cover the entire history of Lisbon Sephardic, the streets, the memories and the culture that still lives today in the traditions of the people from Lisbon. The first stop was at the Ohel Jacob Synagogue. And when climbing the steps to the second floor, of an old building in the peripheral Lisbon, the expectation was limited to the visit of just one more small Synagogue, among the survivors of old Europe. What they discovered was a living space, full of history, immersed in the responsibility of reinforcing Judaism in contemporary Portugal.
They found a Community with clear projects for the rehabilitation of its memory and its treasures, but, above all, a Community with an enormous desire to continue to grow and to welcome all Jews who identify with Progressive Judaism in our country.
During the visit, we were pleased to show them the space, to talk about our individual stories, centuries of crypto-Judaism, to share the experiences of a community in renewal. During the conversation, we showed our Torot and talked about the need we had to rehabilitate them, to treat them with the dignity that is deserved. Contact was brief, but Allan and Sandy Ropper left some of them with us and took some of us with them, too.
Days later, in a completely unexpected way, we would receive a splendid donation from Allan and Sandy Ropper, who opened the doors for us to carry out the long-awaited project to recover all our Torot! Not one, not two, but all! We were ecstatic! And so we want to say: Thank you very much!
They will ask us, who reads us, but why are they only now publishing this article? Why not when donating? And we will answer these questions: because everything makes sense when it is accomplished. And more than a thank you we want to show what was possible thanks to the generosity of Allan and Sandy Ropper. We invite you to follow the process of rehabilitation of each of our Torot, in the articles that will follow, a process that will be complete before Pesach, which we will celebrate with a double celebration.
As for Allan and Sandy Ropper, reinforcing our thanks, we can only say goodbye to see you soon!