Crypto-Judaic Studies

Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies

June 1, 2009

The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies was founded in 1991 in order to foster research and networking of information into the historical and contemporary development of crypto Jews of Iberian origin. Membership is open to anyone who is interested in this fascinating area.

The Secret Jews of the Southwest

May 18, 2009

EL PASO, Texas (JTA) -- Three strange things happened to Rabbi Stephen Leon the first week he moved here in 1986 to lead Congregation B'nai Zion, the Conservative synagogue in this border city.

The visitor made a most unusual request...How the Crypto Jews of El Paso Transformed My Work

March 1, 2007

I will never forget her wrinkled, glistening elderly eyes. It was a beautiful spring day in 2001 and my secretary informed me that there were three people who had just rushed into the Synagogue and insisted on seeing me immediately.

El Paso and Ruidoso: Centers of Learning for Anousim

January 1, 2007

As I was called to an aliyah at El Paso's B'nai Zion synagogue, Rabbi Stephen Leon stepped back from the bimah. His place was taken by a New Mexican grandmother, Lupe Ramos. She proceeded to chant the parashah with skill and confidence. Lupe Ramos is one of a group in America's Southwest known as Anousim, Hebrew for “the forced ones.” She is a descendant of Spanish and Portuguese Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism during the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th and 16th centuries. After more than five centuries, she and others like her have returned to Judaism.

Anousim Conference Meets in El Paso

September 1, 2005

Just two weeks after SCJS held its annual conference in Miami Beach, a similar conference convened in El Paso, TX, August 19-21. Titled “The Sephardic Anousim Conference,” it was hosted by local Congregation B’nai Zion.