OPORTO, Portugal, February 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
The Minister of Justice of Portugal has just granted Portuguese nationality to a new group of descendants of Sephardic Jews. The Portuguese newspaper "Jornal de Notícias" contacted Aleksandar Kitanovski, a Bulgarian citizen who is part of this new group of Portuguese nationals: "My mother, if alive, would be immensely happy with this special day. I received it for her. I have no words to describe my happiness," Kitanovski said, after putting the flag of Portugal on social networks.
Previously certified by the Jewish Community of Oporto, Aleksandar Kitanovski belongs to a family of Portuguese origin who attended the Sephardic synagogue "Cal di Portugal" in Monastir, in Macedonia. His mother and his grandparents were among the few Jews of Monastir who survived the Holocaust, after the entire local Sephardic community was transported to the Treblinka concentration camp, in 1943, where it was exterminated.
Michael Rothwell, delegate of the Oporto Jewish Community in matters regarding the Nationality Law, told the newspaper that Kitanovski is a professor of philosophy who asked for Portuguese nationality for sentimental reasons: "The great-grandfather of this new Portuguese citizen was called Marrano Pereira, something significant and rare, because this is a Portuguese surname (Pereira) connected with a qualifier (Marrano) usually attributed to the Iberian Jews who insisted on not leaving their faith, despite all odds."
According to the Portuguese Nationality Law and its regulations, candidates for Portuguese nationality must first obtain a certificate, issued by the Jewish Community of Oporto or the Jewish Community of Lisbon, attesting that they are descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews. The Oporto community includes 150 members of 19 diverse origins and the Kadoorie Mekor Haim synagogue is the biggest synagogue in Sefarad.
SOURCE Jewish Community of Oporto