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A farewell to Ralf Pinto

Ralf Pinto, the longstanding president of the Jewish Community of the Algarve, was honoured during a special funeral service on August 14.

More than 120 people attended the service, the first burial to take place in the Faro Jewish Cemetery since 1932 which was described as a “fitting” remembrance of Ralf Pinto by his son José.

José Pinto told the Algarve Resident: “There were more people than we expected at the service, given the short notice that people had. The service was very dignified and went according to custom.”

As is traditional, a hole for the grave was dug in the morning while a plain pine box was used as a coffin.

“As the only son I placed the first three spadefuls of sand onto the coffin and this was then followed by everyone else placing sand into the grave before the service by Rabbi Zev Schwarcz was held,” said José.

As such an integral part of the Jewish Community of the Algarve, Ralf Pinto will be remembered for his work in the community and as the vice-president of the Faro Jewish Heritage Centre.

José Pinto added: “My mother has already said that she will continue the work of my father while Rabbi Zev Schwarcz, who performed the service, will now be in the region and working as the spiritual leader of the Jewish community here.