A Portuguese Town Tries to Amend the Past

The Portuguese town of Monsaraz is looking to make  amends for one aspect of its history by opening a Jewish cultural center. 80 residents of this town were persecuted hundreds of years ago by the Portuguese Inquisition.

The Portuguese Inquisition, though considerably smaller in scope than its Spanish counterpart, was nevertheless very active and agressive once it was launched. Its operations included all Portuguese holdings including Brazil and Goa in India.

The following article from the Jewish Telegraph Agency discusses the center and the overall attempts  of Spain and Portugal, to at least partially address their troubled relationships with Jews and Conversos.

Portuguese Jewish Cultural Center


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

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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.