Growing Number Of Hispanics Turning to Judaism

The following article highlights the growing attraction of Judaism for Hispanics in many Latin American countries. Some of these individuals may claim to descendant from  Conversos, Crypto Jews, Anusim, Marranos, or secret Jews, while others may not. Whatever their origin, these individuals are highlighting the history of Spanish and Portuguese Jewry which has been forgotten by many Jews as well as non-Jews for some time.

Between 1536 and the just a few years ago, no ...
Between 1536 and the just a few years ago, no Jews dared to live openly in what had been a Jewish enclave since late Roman times. While some Jews emerged from hiding in the 1920’s, they still faced persecution. It was not until the 1980’s that Judaism was once again practiced openly. A number of Jewish families have donated some of their 500-year old family treasures to the Belmonte Museum of Judaism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The article did not address it, but this phenomenon raises the question about how most Latin American Jewish communities are closed to those who are interested in recovering their Jewish identity or those looking to embrace it. By and large most orthodox communities, whether they are Ashkenazic or Sephardic (i.e. Syrian, Lebanese, Turkish, etc.) in Latin America are not generally disposed towards anyone outside of their communities.

In another post I hope to address this issue.


Posted  Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education and author of What is Kosher?

About rambam442013 108 Articles
Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas where he earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. He studied at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland and received a Master of Arts Degree with Distinction in Judaic Studies. He completed his doctoral studies at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago in 2015. His doctoral dissertation is titled “Complex Identities: Christian and Jewish Attitudes Towards Conversos” and was accepted in September 2015. He also studied at the American Seminary for Contemporary Judaism and received rabbinic ordination in 2011 from Yeshiva Mesilat Yesharim.