Sinagoga Portuguesa Shaare Tikvah is a sanctuary for the Lisbon Jewish community. It was inaugurated 1904, and it is currently administrated by the Lisbon Israelite Commission.
Sinagoga Portuguesa Shaare Tikvah served as model for many other synagogues across Europe.
Designed by the prominent architect Ventura Terra, the Lisbon Synagogue -- inaugurated a century ago -- crowned more than 50 years of work by the city's Jewish community.
Shaare Tikva was one of the first synagogues built in Portugal since the forced conversions and the official destruction of Portuguese Jewry in 1497 by the Inquisition.
"There is a strong symbolism around this for all Portuguese Jews," said Esther Mucznik, vice president of Lisbon's Jewish community.
"This synagogue is a place of worship and gathering of a community, but it is also an important Portuguese cultural and religious asset," Sampaio said. "The future of the Jewish community of Lisbon will contribute, I am certain, to the preservation of a history and of a heritage from which we all will benefit, because knowledge generates undertstanding."
Despite the excitement, Portuguese Jews face a paucity of numbers. There are not enough people for a daily minyan, Rabbi Shlomo Vaknin says. Difficult times are nothing new for Jews in Portugal.
Only after the severity of the Inquisition declined at the end of the 18th century -- it was abolished in 1821 -- did Jewish families decide to return to Portugal, many from Morocco and Gibraltar.
Along with their successful integration into everyday Portuguese life, the first Jewish families immediately sought to create a community life, establishing houses of prayer and purchasing land where they could bury their dead according to Jewish tradition.
The first official synagogue dates from 1813, and formed the embryo of the city's current Jewish community.
Throughout the 19th century, various attempts were made to construct a building worthy of Jewish worship. Great difficulties were encountered, particularly because Judaism was not officially recognized by the royalist Portuguese regime.
Recognition of the Jewish religion was gained only with the separation of church and state implemented by the republican regime in 1912.
The Lisbon Jewish community remained demographically stable until 1961. Then, the outbreak of the Colonial War in Angola -- a former Portuguese territory -- caused many young people and even whole families to emigrate, particularly to Israel, to avoid the draft.
The community is a mixture of Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews: Moroccans who arrived at the end of the 19th century, Russians and Poles who escaped the pogroms in the first half of the 20th century. The community's numbers are stable, with one or two marriages per year.
In addition to the synagogue, the Lisbon community operates a charitable association, burial society and social club, and holds regular activities for community members.
There's also a Jewish studies magazine and Portugal-Israel Friendship Association.