To mark 300 years of Jewish life under the British, the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and Jewish Heritage UK have combined forces to record the historic buildings and sites of Gibraltar’s 600-strong Jewish community.
A team of professional researchers from the Survey of the Jewish Built Heritage has just visited the Rock and photographed, documented and drawn Gibraltar’s four historic synagogues, two historic burial grounds and other sites of Jewish interest.
The oldest of these little known buildings, Sha'ar HaShamayim [“Gate of Heaven”] or the Gibraltar Great Synagogue, was founded in 1724 by Isaac Nieto of London. Rebuilt several times, the present building largely dates from 1812 and shares features in common with the parent Spanish & Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam (1675) and London’s Bevis Marks (1701).
A full-colour architectural heritage guidebook is being prepared, sponsored by the Gibraltar Heritage Trust. The project has also attracted the support of local businesses. Project Director Dr Sharman Kadish said “We are delighted at the enthusiastic reception for our project on the Rock. People here are obviously very proud of their diverse heritage.”