Jewish Community in Madeira



  • Hello Ron, we are talking about the same place, the back road behind Anadia Shopping, R. Ribeirinho de Baixo, leads to Rua do Carmo, and the building is at the corner of the two streets.
  • is he the brother of bigger`s dikas
  • Hi i have been told that Sr Carlos of lazar auto does have the key i intend to go there this week ill let all no what the state of the cemetery is.Boston.
  • Hi
    We're just back from a visit to Madeira and went to find the cemetery. The directions contained within this thread are very useful and it's a relatively easy walk, up hill through the old town. Unfortunately, when we went, Lazar Autos was closed, for Xmas and New Year, so we couldn't get through the gate. However, we did look very carefully up from the beach below and from the side, and could see a huge gap in the retaining wall at the bottom end of the cemetery. Also, we did as much research as possible from people who had been there and as far as we can ascertain, this is the latest position:

    After the last batch of floods, several graves were desecrated by the rain and some of those resting in the cemetery were washed out of the cemetery into the sea (we heard this from several people but have no way to verify how many, or who as we couldn't get in to the cemetery). There has been no effort made to repair the retaining wall since those floods and so as far as we could see, every time it rains heavily, the earth can get more disturbed and there could be more people's remains washed over the cliffs into the sea. This is particularly disturbing because as early as 1988, the erosion of the cemetery was known about and brought to the authorities' attention

    The cemetery gates are seen as being of important architectural and historic interest, and form part of the curriculum of the University's art history course. In general, cemeteries in Funchal are very well kept but of course, they are part of the thriving Churches. As there is no active Jewish community in Funchal (although obviously, there are many with Crypto Jewish blood there), there is no one to push the case for due respect and maintenance of this cemetery.

    I'm going to try to get this brought to the attention of the Jewish authorities here in London because there have been other projects to save cemeteries of lost communities and they should know if anything can be done. However, the authorities in Madeira really could and should have done something about this already as they've known about this for years.
  • I like this site. I am interested in Madeira, history etc.
    My religion is Christian, and I have read a lot about judaism and jews, which interests me much. If you are still on the site here Nicola : how you came to live in Madeira??Did you get a good job down there?? Hope to hear futher.
  • Jewish Cemetry in Funchal

    We visited Madeira last week 10.5.2010 and stayed at the Porto Santa Maria hotel on the Funchal waterfront near the cable car station.

    The Jewish cemetry is, as described ealier in this thread, a few hundred yards past the hotel, past the church and along the cliff top road. The area is known as Lazareto: Santa Maria Major. I think the road is the Rue Lazareto.

    The cemetry is dated 1851; the gate and front wall are in good condition and also the side walls. I could not see the back (seaward) wall from where I was standing. The padlocks were in place and in working condition. Hopefully the flood earlier in the year has not done damage. The sea cliffs look very stable and as there are plenty of domestic properties along this stretch will receive appropriate protection.

    Looking through a gap I could see into the cemetry itself, which is fairly over grown with grass. It is possible to make out some graves, one headstone has a cracked tablet with inscriptions. There are also two old 'cyprus type' trees standing in the corners of the plot.

    We did not realise that the owner of the auto shop opposite had the key so we missed the opportunity of looking inside, at least this time.

    We did take some pictures, which I will post on this site later.

    If anyone else has more information about the community or its cemetry we are interested to know more. We hope to visit the island again soon.

  • Hi,

    I'm in Funchal right now and have located the Shaar Hashamain synagogue and the jewish cemetary of Funchal.

    Synagogue: 1836 - located at Rua do Carmo 33, on corner of R. Ribeirinho de Baixo street (up the street from the Mercado dos Lavradores market). Only the fascade remains - the interior is 2 shops and apartments. Saw the star of david in the window, but no stained glass.

    Cemetary: 1851 - located about 100m from Largo de Forca up the street on Rua Caminho do Lazareto (overlooking the ocean). It is very small and has a padlock. The owner of ProMotos motorcycle shop indicated that the previous owner of LazarAuto had the key, but did not provide it to them. It appears that the streetside wall was painted a pale yellow and some of the concrete in the sidewall was repaired. My husband climbed over the wall and took pictures of the inside. The wall facing the beach has completely collapsed with a tombstone right on the edge of the cliff! The cemetary itself is overgrown and not cared for.

    I have photos if interested...
  • Attached is the map that I've marked with the locations of the synagogue and cemetery.
  • Hi all

    The road that the Jewish Cemetery is in is EXACTLY the road that I would love to buy a run down house in on the sea side of this road. The road is called Rua do Lazareto.

    Ive approached all the Estate Agents in Madeira and they apparently cannot sell these houses as they do not have a CLUE who owns them.

    Perhaps someone reading this, will maybe know of an owner or neighbour or it could perhaps be in an estate for sale.

    PLEASE let me know soonest.

    Miguela Correia
    Cape Town

    PS: My parents were born on the other side of the island.
  • First of all let me introduce myself I am Natacha, I live in Funchal , and at the present moment I am working in my master thesis which will reside in the Jew community in Madeira Island in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

    My study seeks to justify the urgent intervention in the cemetery, because the jewish people that lived in Madeira are part of the social and economic history of the island, and are import memories that we need to preserve.

    The reason of my present contact is to ask for your help for gathering any available information about the theme.

    Do you know any Jew currently living on the island?

    Thank you very much.
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