The German Foreign Ministry pledged about $422,000 in seed funds for the preservation of an historic synagogue in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

The German Consul General in Sao Paulo signed the agreement in November, allocating funds to begin the restoration and preservation of the Beth El Synagogue, which will form heart of a new Jewish museum, according to a ministry statement.

The museum will depict the history and culture of Judaism, as well as the specific history of Jews in Brazil, starting with the arrival of Portuguese settlers in the early 16th century.

A ministry spokesperson in Berlin said they were glad to be able to support this project as part of Germany’s “commitment to preserve and support Jewish life.” The project is under the auspices of the ministry’s Cultural Preservation Program.

Some 20,000 German Jews traveled to Brazil while fleeing the Nazis. The Beth El synagogue was inaugurated in 1932.

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