Review of “Shaland’s Lisbon: An Illustrated Guide to Jewish History and Sites in and around Lisbon”

Book cover of Irene Shaland's book Lisbon

Review of “Shaland’s Lisbon” by: CB, Amazon reader

Link to book:

★★★★★ A Fascinating Look at Lisbon

“For a deep dive into Lisbon’s Jewish history, we will reconstruct the past while traveling not only through the modern city but also through time.”

    This book is a vivid and fascinating look into Lisbon through the lens of Jewish history and culture. Irene Shaland paints a colorful story spanning centuries from Biblical times to today through a close-up look at Portugal’s capital (and other beautiful locations too.)

    The book is told through a broad look at each time period, and zooms in each chapter for a close-up look at Jewish life during the time. The information – told like a story, as if Irene were walking you right through Lisbon, with intelligent observation – is complemented by stunning photographs.

    Shaland’s Lisbon is perfect for anyone curious about Jewish history, anyone going to Lisbon, or anyone just curious about the area (it feels like I got to take a little trip there!) The book is perfect for reading on the go, as it takes you through the streets and points out architecture and little details you otherwise might’ve missed.

    Though I’m not Jewish myself, I enjoyed learning more, and was fully fascinated and entranced by Irene’s storytelling that brought Jewish life from centuries ago into the present. But be warned – once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop!

Check this book out:

Read more about the Book Author Irene Shaland.

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: 


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


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.


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:


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

Visiting Adeje, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

In this post we wanted to share a few images of a lovely town of Adeje where we stayed during our recent trip to the island of Tenerife, Spain.

Irene Shaland and Alex Shaland at Madrid airport

On the road again. After flying from Cleveland to Atlanta and then to Madrid, we were waiting for our flight to the Canary Islands. Also known as the Canaries, this archipelago consists of eight larger islands and a few smaller ones. As our base, we chose the island of Tenerife, the largest and the favorite of many visitors. And why were we going there? To celebrate Alex’s BIG birthday!  He was going to be 70 years young.

Hotel Iberostar Selection (adults only) Sabila in Adeje

Our hotel Iberostar Selection (adults only) Sabila in Adeje was a luxury resort. Adeje is full of top-tier hotels, most are trying to look like the Taj Mahal or a Buddhist Temple or whatever. We chose this tasteful, understated one, famous for its art hall, culinary arts, high level of comfort, and services. And we were very happy both with the Art Deco facade and with what we were surrounded with inside.

Irene Shaland inCosta Adeje

Here we are on the main boulevard in Costa Adeje, Tenerife, near our hotel.

Irene Shaland and Alex Shaland in Adeje
Irene Shaland in the ocean

Costa Adeje, Tenerife, the Canaries. Welcoming and heart (and body) warming ocean. Black sand beach. Volcanic peaks with hats made of clouds. What is there not to love?

Sunset over the ocean

Spectacular sunsets over the ocean.

Irene Saland and Alex Shaland in front of restaurant La Salitre

This is how we celebrated Alex’s anniversary at a  lovely and very popular seafood restaurant La Salitre.

I wanted to mention two dishes, known well to most of us and probably frequently cooked at home: gazpacho and paella. Both were done very differently from what we were used to, however, in a blend of the Andalusian and Canarien styles. Gazpacho was yellow: from yellow tomatoes and peppers; paella came with every seafood group cooked in a different sauce. All food was superb!

Irene Shaland eating soup
Irene Shaland eating paella

Read more about Irene and Alex Shaland