Jewish Madeira

Jewish Madeira

All my friends know, that we are trying to catch at least some part of the history of the place, we are coming, which is connected with Jewish life. So, Madeira was not an exclusion.

There is no identified Jewish population on Madeira for last 70 years. During the Second World War, civil population from Gibraltar was transferred to Madeira and so happened that Jewish population of the island grew for the war period. Later all left for Gibraltar. As a monument of Jewish presence on the island, there left a building of synagogue (now used as an ordinary house) and cemetery, founded in 1851.

I don’t like memorials and little bit less Jewish museums. But cemeteries I found very interesting, because it is the part of Jewish life. So, we went for search of Jewish cemetery. Find a cemetery in Funchal is a very difficult task. We looked through a huge number of forums and all we could find – approximate location of the street, where cemetery is located from here Madeira Jewish cemetery. We looked for green gates, but they turned out to be gray. 😉

So, as expected – we didn’t find cemetery, because the gates are of a wrong color. We decided to ask locals. One woman, who didn’t speak any English, directed us to some cemetery further the road. It happened, because I asked her about Cemetery. I didn’t know, there lot of cemeteries in the district. Later she saw my kipah (yarmulka) and reached us near the car and asked if we are looking for cemitério judaico, directed us backwards. so, this is how we found the cemetery.

It is impossible to enter the cemtery, because nobody knows whom to ask. Gates have code lock. Fence is about 3 meters. So, I climbed electric box and photoed from there.

It seems like the cemetery is kept in some order.