Madeira and Azores – Virtual Lecture

May 19, 2024
12:00 Noon EST via Zoom

opening slide of Portuguese lecture

Please “come” virtually to Irene Shaland’s lecture devoted to Jewish history in Portugal. This time, we will be exploring the enchanting islands of Madeira and Azores that belong to Portugal.

This lecture is hosted by the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies. The event is OPEN to the public. To receive the link to the event, you need to register. Please find the link to register: 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ON SCJS WEBSITE

About this Zoom event:

Title: “The Hidden History of Jewish People on the Islands of Madeira and Azores and the Unsolved Mystery of a Sefer Torah”

Date: May 19, 2024

Time: 12:00 Noon EST

Description:

Join the renowned author and historian, Irene Shaland, in her exploration of two Portuguese autonomous regions in the Atlantic: Madeira and Azores. With their mild climate, dramatic waterfalls, and mountains, both archipelagos are popular tourist destinations with over five million visitors arriving annually.

However, few tourists know that the two islands of Madeira and the nine islands of Azores have a hidden Jewish history, and the archipelagos tightly guard their secrets.

The Jewish presence on the islands, still under the radar of most historians, spans the entire length of recorded history beginning with their discovery by the Portuguese in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is even thought that the explorer who discovered Madeira, Joao Zarco, was of Crypto-Jewish ancestry.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ON SCJS WEBSITE

To learn more about Irene Shaland’s new book “Shaland’s Lisbon: An Illustrated Guide to Jewish History and Sites in and around Lisbon” click here: https://amzn.to/4awMblb

 

Learn more about the presenter Irene Shaland.

In Search of a Jewish Story in China

In Search of a Jewish Story in China
Free Virtual Presentation Hosted by
New City Library, New York

Date and Time: May 6th, 7:00 PM EST

Join an art and travel writer Irene Shaland as she takes us on a fascinating expedition, both familiar and unknown, through the 2,000 years of history in China. We will journey along the Silk Road and Gobi Desert, and visit six cities: Harbin, Beijing, Dunhuang, Kaifeng, Luoyang, and Shanghai.  

As a Jewish historian, Irene Shaland remains ever attuned to what she calls the Jewish story, an often “endless chain of persecutions, from century to century, from country to country.” However, in China, she uncovered an entirely different chapter in Jewish history, which is divided into two unique narratives: the Jews in China and the Jews of China.

You are invited to discover these fascinating stories and find answers to many perplexing questions:

What are the secrets of the Gobi Desert and the Silk Road?

What do the most anti-Semitic of Russian Tsars, a railroad, a Chinese fishing village, and Russian-Yiddish culture have in common?

How did it happen that a port city in China occupied by the Japanese became a safe haven for thousands of European Jews during World War II?

What important lessons can we learn today from the history of the Chinese Jews?

Finally, why did the Jews of China disappear? And – did they really?

To register follow the link to the New City Library website: https://newcity.librarycalendar.com/event/search-jewish-story-china-43823

Read about Jews in China in Irene Shaland’s book “The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories: Tales of Jewish Diaspora, Persecution, the Holocaust and Rebirth in Europe, Africa and Asia.” https://amzn.to/2T1u5kK

Free Virtual Lecture February 27, 2024: Madeira and Azores

Opening slide of Azores and Madeira lecture by Irene Shaland

Dear friends, readers, and followers,

Please “come” virtually to Irene Shaland’s 2nd lecture devoted to Jewish history in Portugal. This time, we will be exploring the enchanting islands of Madeira and Azores that belong to Portugal.

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public. To receive the link to the event, you need to register. I recommend registering as soon as possible; it only takes a couple of minutes. Please click the link to register: Link to Registration

About this Zoom event:

Title: “The Hidden History of Jewish People on the Islands of Madeira and Azores and the Unsolved Mystery of a Sefer Torah”

Date: February 27, 2024

Time: 11:00 AM EST

Description:

Join the BZD and renowned author and historian, Irene Shaland, in her exploration of two Portuguese autonomous regions in the Atlantic: Madeira and Azores. With their mild climate, dramatic waterfalls, and mountains, both archipelagos are popular tourist destinations with over five million visitors arriving annually.

However, few tourists know that the two islands of Madeira and the nine islands of Azores have a hidden Jewish history, and the archipelagos tightly guard their secrets.

The Jewish presence on the islands, still under the radar of most historians, spans the entire length of recorded history beginning with their discovery by the Portuguese in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is even thought that the explorer who discovered Madeira, Joao Zarco, was of Crypto-Jewish ancestry.

To learn more about the organization and to register, go to the BZD website: https://bzdisrael.org/ or call: 410-484-4510

To learn more about Irene Shaland’s new book “Shaland’s Lisbon: An Illustrated Guide to Jewish History and Sites in and around Lisbon” click here: https://amzn.to/4awMblb

Read more about the presenter, Irene Shaland

Acts of Loving Kindness During the Holocaust

BZD announcement about Irene Shaland's lecture on January 28

In commemoration of the 2024 International Holocaust Memorial Day, the Baltimore Zionist District organization presents a lecture about unsung heroes during the Holocaust: people who risked everything to save untold thousands of Jewish lives during Shoah.

Day/Date: Sunday, January 28th

Time: 7:00 PM EST

Title: Acts of Loving Kindness During the Holocaust: Unknown Stories from Cuba, Corsica, Malta, and Calabria

https://bzdisrael.org/acts-of-loving-kindness-during-the-holocaust-unknown-stories-from-cuba-corsica-malta-and-calabria/

 To Read more about the presentation and to Register click here

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpfuyvrDkoE9WsYhEfah84y7hD073Ijon7#/registration

Read stories from Malta and Corsica in Irene Shaland’s book “Shaland’s Jewish Travel Guide to Malta and Corsica” https://amzn.to/3nfjH9s

Learn more about the presenter, Irene Shaland.

Shaland’s Lisbon is N 1 on Amazon

We are happy to share great news: Irene Shaland’s new book “Shaland’s Lisbon: An Illustrated Guide to Jewish History and Sites In and Around Lisbon” is N1 New Release at Amazon.

What is this book about?

“Drawing on extensive academic research and personal experiences during an extended stay in Portugal, Irene Shaland paints a vivid picture of the Sephardic Jewish experience in Iberia from Antiquity through modern times.” –GTA Books.  Take a minute to check this book out:

LINK to Paperback edition

Link to eBook edition

Irene’s Virtual Portuguese Lecture on January 9, 2024

Images from Portugal

Hello dear friends, readers, and followers! And happy, healthy, safe, and joyous New Year to you all!

As many of you know, I have not been presenting much for most of 2023 due to us traveling, researching, and working on our books. I am opening up the New Year with one of my Portuguese lectures. Here are the details, if any of you would like and be able to attend.

Title: “Rediscovering Portuguese Secrets: Little-Known Jewish History that Changed the World”

Date January 9th

Time: 11:00 AM EST

Booking institution: Baltimore Zionist District (BZD)

https://bzdisrael.org/rediscovering-portuguese-secrets-little-known-jewish-history-that-changed-the-world/

Portuguese Lecture Description:

Venture on a journey with the BZD and renowned author and historian Irene Shaland as we delve into the enchanting tapestry of Portugal’s Jewish history, a narrative often overlooked by many.

Uncover the fascinating yet lesser-known stories of Jewish presence in the Iberian Peninsula since Biblical times. From the rich Sephardic or Spanish-Portuguese Jewish heritage influencing Portugal’s evolution during the Roman and Visigoth eras to the remarkable Age of Discovery and navigating the shadowy epochs of the Inquisition and persecution.

Explore the resilience of Jewish faith and traditions as they endured in secrecy, extending to World War II when Portugal emerged as a safe haven for countless European refugees. We’ll also touch upon the contemporary landscape, highlighting the modest yet flourishing Jewish community thriving in present-day Portugal.

Join us to explore the Portuguese secrets that have shaped history, weaving a tale of survival, resilience, and cultural evolution.

To learn more about the organization and to register, go to the BZD website: https://bzdisrael.org/ or call: 410-484-4510

 

Learn more about Irene Shaland’s new book “Shaland’s Lisbon: An Illustrated Guide to Jewish History and Sites In and Around Lisbon” 

 

Learn more about the presenter Irene Shaland.

A Great Resource for Lovers of European Jewish History

website JGuide Europe

While working on our upcoming trip to France, I came across a wonderful resource that would be very helpful for any history buff.

The website is called “The Cultural Guide to Jewish Europe.” It was created in the 1990s by a group of historians and journalists with the goal of “leading the curious traveler to discover an unknown Europe.”  The site is very easy to use: just click on the link  

 

and then choose your country!

Happy discovering!

Irene

Learn more about Irene Shaland.

Revealing the Secrets of Jewish History in Malta

Malta

Mark Your Calendars: Irene’s Zoom Lecture on January 13th “Revealing the Secrets of Jewish History in Malta”

Sign on the place of Old Jewish Market in Mdina,Malta.
Sign on the place of Old Jewish Market in Mdina,Malta.

Dear friends, readers, followers,

Many of you asked if and when my presentation on Malta will be repeated. Yes, it will be! On Friday, January 13th, 2023, I will be presenting my Malta lecture via Zoom at the event hosted by a British educational organization Abraham Presentations.

The event is FREE and open to the public, but you will need a link to attend. Next week, the link will be available, and I will email it to all of you in a follow-up Newsletter.

If you are not on my Newsletter mailing list, please send me an email at [email protected], and I will forward you the link once it is available.

About the Presentation:

The Maltese Jewish narrative manifests a spellbinding trajectory still under the radar for most historians: from Israelites sailing there with Phoenicians three thousand years ago, to the first Jewish traveler, the Biblical Paul, arriving in Malta in the first century CE, through the dark times of Jewish slavery during the Knights of St. John’s rule in the 16th century, to today’s blossoming Jewish community.

This lecture is presented in commemoration of the approaching in two weeks (January 27th) 2023 Yom HaShoah, International Holocaust Memorial Day. HMD Trust in the UK which organizes, runs, and streams country-wide commemoration has announced its 2023 theme as “Ordinary People.”

And therefore, we will discuss today – within the detailed context of Maltese history – Gemilut Hasadim or the Unknown Acts of Loving Kindness during the Holocaust.

The tiny archipelago of Malta was the only country in the world during WWII that did not require entry visas, therefore – due to the Gemilut Hasadim of the non-Jewish Maltese – saving the lives of untold thousands of European refugees.

The lecture concludes with the Lessons Learned from the “acts of loving kindness” and Jewish stories in Malta and the Q&A.

Learn more about the presenter Irene Shaland.

Take a look at Irene Shaland’s Book “Shaland’s Jewish Travel Guide to Malta and Corsica.”

Jewish History on the Islands of Madeira and Azores

Synagogue Interior, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores

Dear friends, readers, and followers,

Please register for Irene’s new virtual Portuguese Jewish History lecture hosted on December 20 by the New City New York Library. This lecture is FREE, but registration is required to receive a link to attend.

The Hidden History of Jewish People on the Islands of Madeira and Azores and the Unsolved Mystery of a Sefer Torah

Day/Date: Tuesday, December 20th 

Time: 7:00 PM EST

Marina on Madeira island
Marina on Madeira island

Follow Irene Shaland in her exploration of two Portuguese autonomous regions in the Atlantic: Madeira and Azores. With their mild climate, dramatic waterfalls, and mountains, both archipelagos are popular tourist destinations with over five million visitors arriving annually. Few of the tourists though know that the two islands of Madeira and the nine islands of Azores have a hidden Jewish history, and the archipelagos tightly guard their secrets. The Jewish presence on the islands, still under the radar of most historians, spans the entire length of recorded history beginning with their discovery by the Portuguese in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is even thought that the explorer who discovered Madeira, Joao Zarco, was of Crypto-Jewish ancestry.

       Learn about the unsolved mystery of the ancient Sephardic Torah with an Ashkenazi cover. First given by a local man to an American Jewish officer serving on the US Army base on Terceira Island of the Azores, the Torah reappeared 40 years later on Sao Miguel Island inside a sea cave. Follow Irene on a virtual visit to the synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in Madeira and Azores and delve deeper into the archipelagos’ hidden Jewish history.

To register for Dec. 20 FREE ZOOM event, please follow the link to the library website:

https://newcity.librarycalendar.com/event/hidden-history-jewish-people-islands-madeira-and-azores-and-unsolved-mystery-sefer-torah

If you have any questions please contact Program Manager Veronica Reynolds at

[email protected]

Phone Number: (845) 634-4997 ext. 139

Learn more about Irene Shaland

Check out Irene’s books at Amazon

Africa Through the Eyes of a Jewish Explorer

Lion, Star of David, Masai people

Face-to-Face with Africa Through the Eyes of a Jewish Explorer

Virtual Lecture: Irene Shaland

Sunday, November 13th, 2022       7:00 PM EST  Via Zoom

Hosted by Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield, MA

For more information and to register for this lecture, please email the Sisterhood President Susan Hochberg: [email protected]

Encounter Africa – a never-ending journey of mystery and discovery!

Join Irene Shaland, a Jewish historian, book author, and educator, as she leads us on a unique journey to Africa seen through the eyes of a Jewish explorer. As a writer focused on the past and present of Jewish communities around the world, Irene shares personal Jewish stories she discovered in Africa.

Nairobi Hebrew Congregation Synagogue, Kenya
Nairobi Hebrew Congregation Synagogue, Kenya
Sanctuary, Nairobi Synagogue, Kenya
Inside the sanctuary, Nairobi Synagogue, Kenya

The mysterious continent of Africa remains one of the most enchanting and fascinating destinations for both Irene and her husband Alex, a travel writer and photographer.

Masai warrior dance
Masai warrior dance

Through Alex’s photographs and Irene’s story-telling, you will journey to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar. You will meet Africa’s Big Five (five African animals most dangerous for a hunter on foot), visit the Nairobi Synagogue and its energetic community, go to a Masai Tribe village to learn Masai Old Testament-like legends, the Great Rift Valley (where life on Earth began) and follow the Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania.

For more information and to register for this lecture, please email the Sisterhood President Susan Hochberg: [email protected]

Find out more About the Presenter

Find all Shalands’ books on Amazon:

Link to Irene Shaland’s Books. 

Link to Alex Shaland’s Books.