11007
New Mexico

New Mexico’s Conversos and Crypto-Jews

Learn the history and experience the unique culture of conversos and Crypto-Jews — Spain’s Jewish citizens who were forced to leave their country for not converting to Christianity.
Rating (5)
Program No. 11007RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,049
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Albuquerque, NM
D
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously). Orientation: 5:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Several guest speakers will provide lectures and educational commentary. Transportation for program-related activities will be via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At 7:00 p.m. in our private meeting room, we’ll have enjoy a buffet meal with salad, entrée, dessert, and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, History of Sephardic Judaism
Albuquerque, NM
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles approximately 1/2 hour each way. Walking a few blocks over the course of the day; standing up to 2 hours at Cultural Center.

Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room at 7:30 a.m., have what you like from the buffet with typical selections such as eggs, turkey sausage, potatoes, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll join our Group Leader for a presentation on the history of Albuquerque and New Mexico. We’ll then board our coach and depart for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Operated by the nineteen Pueblos of New Mexico, the IPCC is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Pueblo culture, highlighting the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people. During our self-directed exploration, we will get an overview of New Mexico’s many different Pueblos as we view the Pueblo-curated exhibits on the lower level.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, our expert instructor will introduce the fascinating history of conversos and crypto-Jews, dating back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition that began its “investigations” in 1480. In 1492, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain signed what is known as the Alhambra Decree ordering Jewish residents in Spanish domains to convert or leave on pain of death. Many fled and some reached the New World.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We’ll continue learning about crypto-Jewish history with a lecture on the Columbus question. Given the confusion about his life before the voyages, is it possible he was a converso?

DAY
3
Crypto-Jews in NM, Holocaust Memorial & Museum, Synagogue
Albuquerque, NM
B,L
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles over the course of the day, approximately 1 hour total. Walking 1 mile, standing up to 1 hour at a time.

Breakfast: Hotel meeting room buffet.

Morning: This morning our expert instructor will introduce us to the fascinating history of conversos and crypto-Jews in New Mexico, dating back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition. We’ll then ride to Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza where we’ll see the Holocaust Memorial with commentary by our Group Leader. Designed by renowned artist Jake Lovato, the memorial serves as a permanent reminder of the grim realities of the Holocaust and a commemoration of its victims.

Lunch: At a popular local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll board the motorcoach for a short drive to the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico where we will have an expert-led exploration of this important site. Founded in 2001 by Holocaust survivor Werner Gellert, the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum’s mission is “to combat hate and intolerance through education.” Although many of the museum’s exhibits focus on the European Holocaust and World War II genocides, there are also exhibits documenting the Armenian, Greek, and Native American genocides. From there, we’ll visit a local synagogue, known for its distinctive architecture, and hear from the rabbi about contemporary Jewish life in New Mexico.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Not to be confused with “Tex-Mex,” New Mexico cuisine includes elements of both Native American and Spanish influences.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Converso & Crypto-Jewish Heritage, Hispanic Cultural Center
Albuquerque, NM
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 10 miles, approximately 1/2 hour. Walking up to 1 mile, standing approximately 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel meeting room buffet.

Morning: We’ll begin the day with another expert-led lecture expanding our knowledge of the lives of conversos and crypto-Jews. We’ll then ride to the National Hispanic Cultural Center, where we’ll learn more about the area’s Hispanic history and culture. Dedicated to the preservation, promotion and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts and humanities, the National Hispanic Cultural Center celebrates Hispanic traditions through a variety of exhibits including a performance center, art museum, and a library. The permanent collection features Frederico Vigil’s “buon fresco” Mundos de Mestizaje depicting thousands of years of Hispanic and pre-Hispanic history, and ¡Aqui Estamos!, a rotating exhibition of art from the Center’s permanent collection.

Lunch: At an Old Town restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with choice of entrées plus beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll set out on a walking field trip with our Group Leader in the plaza and surrounding area of Albuquerque’s aptly named Old Town, the focal point of community life since 1706. About 10 blocks of historical adobe buildings surround the central plaza, including San Felipe de Neri Church that dates back to 1793. The city’s settlers built their homes, shops, and government offices here; many of these historical structures have been converted into the restaurants, art galleries, and shops that we see today. Returning to the hotel, we’ll hear from a presenter who will discuss her converso/crypto-Jewish heritage and discovery of her own personal history. We’ll end the evening with a roundtable question-and-answer session.

Dinner: Hotel meeting room buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Acoma Pueblo Field Trip
Albuquerque, NM
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 135 miles, approximately 2.5 hours over the course of the day; on/off a shuttle bus to ride a mile to the top of the mesa and back down. Walking up to 1 mile, approximately 2 hours; uneven, rough-packed dirt terrain at Acoma (not appropriate for walkers and wheelchairs). Extent and duration of independent exploration according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel meeting room buffet.

Morning: We’ll board our motorcoach and travel to Acoma Pueblo. Acoma’s ties to Jewish history in New Mexico lie in its relationship to Jewish trader Solomon Bibo, the only non-Indian to become governor of a Native American Pueblo. Built on a 367-foot-high mesa to protect it from attack, the old village has no electricity and no running water. While a few dozen Pueblo members live atop the mesa, most reside in villages at the base of the mesa. On arrival at the Sky City Cultural Center — the gateway to Acoma Pueblo — we’ll transfer to a Pueblo bus and drive to the top of the mesa where we’ll explore the old village, see the 17th-century San Esteban del Rey mission church, and meet some of the inhabitants of this remarkable historic place.

Lunch: At Acoma Pueblo, we’ll have a choice of chicken or vegetarian wraps and soft drinks.

Afternoon: Returning to Albuquerque, the remainder of the afternoon is free for independent exploration.

Dinner: Hotel meeting room buffet. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We’ll gather for a wrap-up session to review the program and what we’ve experienced together. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Albuquerque, NM
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel meeting room buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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