|Location||Guerra Junqueiro street, Porto, Portugal|
|Architect(s)||Augusto dos Santos Malta, Arthur de Almeida Jr.|
|Founder||Artur Barros Basto|
The Kadoorie Synagogue, also known Synagogue Kadoorie - Mekor Haim ("Fountain of Life") is the current synagogue of the Jewish Community of Porto. Its construction started in 1929 and was inaugurated in 1938. It is the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula. The synagogue "Kadoorie - Mekor Haim", is located on Guerra Junqueiro Street, in the city of Porto, Portugal.
The synagogue and the Jewish Community of Porto
After realizing the need for a synagogue, Barros Basto started to plan on building a synagogue but first, on his own initiative, officially registers in the Civil Government the local Jewish community in 1923 and named it Comunidade Israelita do Porto (Israelite Community of Porto).
The present synagogue would only begin to be built years later but the community was organized and rented a house on the Elias Garcia street that started to function as a synagogue.
In 1929, Barros Basto raised funds that enabled him to buy the plot of land for the future synagogue, in Guerra Junqueiro Street.
In November 13, 1929 an application for obtaining the necessary licensing to begin work was delivered at Câmara Municipal do Porto (Municipal chamber) and a few weeks later the first stone was laid and the construction began. The work progressed slowly until 1933, due to the high costs and the limited funds of its founder and the community, despite all the support that was provided by the Committee for the Spanish-Portuguese Jews of London.
In that year, Laura Kadoorie, the wife of a Jewish philanthropist of Iraqi origin, Sir Elly Kadoorie died, and her children saw in this unfortunate event the necessity to honor their mother, a descendant of Portuguese Jews who fled the country from the Inquisition. This tribute was reflected in the monetary support of the Kadoorie family to the construction of large parts of the Synagogue of Porto, which was renamed "Synagogue Kadoorie - Mekor Haim."
"Kadoorie" in honor of the family that was so important to its conclusion and "Mekor Haim" the name that its founder had given to it.
The building reveals a sturdy façade and a modern architecture visible through its simple and discreet volumetry, which reveals much about the architects who projected it.
According to documents filed in the Town Hall, when the application for the building permit was submitted, it was given to Lieutenant Augusto dos Santos Malta, an architect trained in the School of Fine Arts of Porto. It is also known that some of these documents were signed by the architect Arthur de Almeida Jr. suggesting that both may have been co-authors of the project.
The Master Rogério de Azevedo, may also have had direct involvement in the work but either only at (its) the end of the construction or even during the finishes since some parts of the building, including the library woodwork, are very similar to other significant works of Rogério de Azevedo.
Currently, the community is guided by the philosophy of Chabad Lubavitch and counts among its members, with Jews of various origins such as Poland, Egypt, the United States, India, Russia, Israel, Spain, Portugal and England.
In the present day, rabbi Daniel Litvak guides the community, he's a native of Argentina. The current vice president of the Jewish Community of Porto is the granddaughter of Captain Barros Basto, Isabel Ferreira Lopes.
- Artur Carlos de Barros Basto
- Kadoorie family
- Jewish Communities of Portugal
- Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam)
- Lisbon Synagogue
- Synagogue of Tomar
- Mea, Elvira de Azevedo e Steinhardt, Inácio - Ben-Rosh. Biografia do Capitão Barros Basto, Lisboa: Afrontamento, 1997, pag.222
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kadoorie Synagogue.|
- Comunidade Israelita do Porto Website
- Kadoorie Synagogue, Symbol against anti-Semitism – Video
- ADL Welcomes Reinstatement of Captain Ousted from Portuguese Army Due to Anti-Semitism
- Portugese Synagogue's 75th Anniversary: "Struggle for Freedom"
- The Synagogue of the Portuguese Dreyfus Creates a YouTube Success
- The Acoustics of the Mekor Haim Synagogue, Portugal - António P. Carvalho e José D. Amado - Laboratório de Acústica, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto