The Jewish community of the Canary Islands.

The Jewish community of the Canary Islands face the onslaught of assimilation and the decline of its members in serious danger of generational continuity in the Archipelago, either by emigration to other countries or the aliyah (return) to Israel.

In the middle of last century is remembered the moderate arrival to Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria of prosperous and industrious families of Sephardic origin from North Africa cities mainly of Moroccan places at that time, were under French and Spanish protectorates. I mean, Tangier, Tetouan and Casablanca or Alcazaquibir.

The ever growing presence of Sephardic Jews in Santa Cruz de Tenerife contributed to the opening of the first and only synagogue that has existed in Tenerife, located at San Jose Street, ending its members become the Jewish Community who chaired until his death,’Pinchas Abecassis z””l.

Mid in the early 80s ended the expectations of maintaining the cohesion of the Jewish Community, and culminated in the transfer of the Sefer Torah (Holy Scriptures) to the synagogue in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which is currently located.The Jewish Community of Tenerife is still active, under the tutelage of Roni Abecassis and Aaron Cohen, president and secretary, respectively, and only meets miniám (congregation of ten adult Jewish men) in exceptional cases, either by holding a wedding, burial, memory (reciting the Kaddish-prayer for the dead “in the cemetery), or the Brit Milah (circumcision and blessing) of a newborn.

The Jewish Community of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria meets approximately 30 families under the chairmanship of Mr. Solomon Zrihen , a benchmark of wisdom and teaching and example of dedication.Its home was the first meeting place to which established the first synagogue in Remedios Street.

Back in the 80s he moved to Leon y Castillo Street, where it remains until now as a place of worship and community center. Every week there are usually religious services on Shabbat and is where, too, holidays are celebrated.The community solemnly celebrated Yom Kippur, and then mount the cabin to get Sukkot, which closes and opens the regular cycle of Torah reading.

Today in Gran Canaria and Tenerife predominantly businessmen, liberal professional, doctors, merchants, engineers and journalists. It so happens that the islands tourism character promotes the visited by Jews from Israel and the Diaspora.


About Tarbut Las Palmas

Tarbut Sefarad es una asociación tolerante y apolítica que tiene como interes principal el conservar y difundir la cultura judía en general,en especial la sefardí.La cultura es una de las mayores armas de la humanidad,un elemento que tiende puentes entre pueblos y soluciona conflictos.Para tener un gran futuro debemos conservar excelentemente nuestro pasado y difundirlo.Desde Tarbut Las Palmas les invitamos a trabajar en ello y a unirse a nosotros en nuestro proyecto.
This entry was posted in Canary Islands, Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tenerife. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Jewish community of the Canary Islands.

  1. Claudia says:


    I am in Las Palmas for a few months and have arrived very recently. I wondered if anyone could advise me as to where I could find a Jewish community and somewhere I could attend a seder?

    Thank you so much,


  2. Jessica Bragman says:

    Good morning,

    My 24 year old daughter is studying and working in Las Palmas for 3 months. She would be interested in finding the Jewish community in Las Palmas for Friday night services and also for Pesach.
    Would you be able to let me know how she cancontact you.

    Thank you very much

    Jessica Bragman

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