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Chaves, Portugal

CHAVES, city in N. Portugal, W. of Bragança. A large Jewish community existed there in the Middle Ages noted for its bet midrash, said to have been named Genesim, after the Book of Genesis. The community was granted a charter of privileges in 1434. Before the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1496/97, the community paid the crown an annual tax of 31,000 reis. Subsequently a Marrano community continued to exist in Chaves. When in the 20th century the Marranos in Portugal renewed contact with Judaism, some openly returned to Judaism in Chaves. In 1930 a committee of "New Jews" was established there, with Lieutenant Augusto Nuñes, himself a former Marrano, acting as chairman. With the establishment of the dictatorship in 1932, Jewish missionary activities among the local Marranos decreased.


J. Mendes dos Remedios, Os Judeus em Portugal, 1 (1895), 361; Portuguese Marranos Committee, Marranos in Portugal (1938), 8.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.