Portuguese Crypto Jews

Portugal and Madeira On August 19 1994, Haim Shapiro described in the "Jerusalem Post", an ancient and secret Yom Kippur ritual still practised by Marrano families in northern Portugal. Women gather together and braid oil...

Jews in Cape Verde and on the Guinea Coast

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND IN PORTUGAL In Iberia the Reconquista movement was growing in its mission to recover their lands from the Muslim Moors who had first arrived in the 8th century. Jews may have first arrived...

The Jews of St. Eustatius

St Eustatius is one of the Netherlands Antilles islands, along with St Maarten, Saba, Curaçao, and Bonaire. The island earned a unique place in the annals of the history of the United States...

Cuba’s Jews Take Heart From First New Synagogue Since Revolution

CAMAGUEY, Cuba -- Thirty-six years ago, Alberto Roffe's grandfather dug a hole in this city's only Jewish cemetery, lowered his community's prayer books into it and covered the crypt with concrete. Cuba's communist government had...

The Last of the Jews in Trinidad and Tobago: Hans Stecher tells the story...

The Jewish section tucked away in the corner of Mucurapo Cemetery is normally neat and clean. But weeds and flowers spring up wildly aroud the stone markers when Hans Stecher is off the island. Stecher,...

The Silk Route: A Judaic Odyssey

One thousand seven hundred years before Marco Polo set out on his journey from Venice to China, Persian/Jewish traders pioneered the route from the Near East to Kaifeng, then the Capitol of Imperial China. The...

A Brief History of the Sephardim of Curaçao

The island of Curaçao is situated in the southern Caribbean about 40 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. It was discovered in 1499 by Alonso de Ojeda, one of the captains of Christopher,...

Toledo: Capital of Sepharad

When a title for these remarks was suggested to me some time ago in Madrid, I purposely refrained from asking whether the theme centered on the recent designation of Toledo as the capital of...

Marrano

The term marrano refers to the Crypto-Jews from the Iberian peninsula, i.e. descendants of Jews who were forced to adopt the identity of Christians. The term marrano denotes in Spanish "damned," "accursed," "banned";...

Strengths, challenges of tiny community like those of U.S. Jewry

Anete Hulak is believed to be the oldest Jew in Brazil´s Recife. She arrived in the small northeastern city in 1927 from Bessarabia (now Moldova), and remembers the Recife Jewish community´s heyday. Then there was...