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
6 days
Starts at
17 Reviews
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5 Average

This was an outstanding program. I was raised Jewish and had no idea that these individuals even existed. For anyone interested in this topic, I highly recommend it.


If you are interested in this topic, you will be amazed on how much new information you will gain.


Go for it....and discover another "another" world out there.


Whether Jewish or not, this program opens a previously unknown aspect of the culture of New Mexico. The communities of Hispanics, Indians, and Anglos have a dimension of richness within that was discovered only recently. That culture is a result of the Spanish Inquisition and the Jews who came, finally, to the northern reaches of New Mexico to escape persecution. That period of history as well as the up to date development of the escapees is sensitively developed in this program with several excellent speakers and field trips. My synagogue group thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge and sense of community we shared.


Fascinating, exotic and Jewish


This program will open one's eyes to social issues that most of us unfamiliar with, and unaware of their significance for our contemporary age.


Wonderful trip - Enjoyed it very much.


My first Road Scholar trip, but not my last. The program was outstanding and I learned so much. Our group leader was excellent, the participants were friendly and interesting, and the weather was perfect.


The Conversos and Crypto Jews program was very informative and educational. I am familiar with the subject matter but my knowledge was enhanced by attending this program. The field trip to the Acoma Pueblo was very special and fulfilled a personal goal of mine. I recommend this program to anyone who is interested in the history of the Inquisition and its continuing impact in current times.


This program was far richer and deeper than I ever imagined it would be. There is a lot going on in New Mexico!


This program should not be missed - it will enhance your ability to understand more about our friends and or neighbors in this crazy world of ours.


Had a fabulous experience sharing this trip with my two adult daughters. We learned about Jewish experiences that we were not so well familiar with as well as about the life and history of the native Indian population . Travel with friendly interesting people is what Road Scholar is all aboutT Thanks Maren Friedman.


This is a marvelous program. We learned so much about the Conversos and Crypto-Jews. The presentations by two people from that community who told of their own experiences was one of the highlights. They were so emotionally affected by their journeys towards Judaism. The leader Karen Strong, was outstanding and everything went smoothly. Learning about the history of the Acoma Pueblo and visiting it gave us a piece of history and an exposure to Native American life that we had never learned of or experienced before. Finally, the people in our group were all very friendly and compatible It included three Christians, one of whom is an Episcopal priest and another whose father was an Episcopal priest. Bravo to Road Scholar!! Norm Rosen


Excellent and much more than expected. Leader Karen Long, is very good and speakers are top-notch experts in the field of the New Mexican Jewish origins and community. Personal accounts by individual crypto-Jews are very poignant. Two days focus on Jewish studies in lecture form and two days are (field trips to) Native American/Pueblo sites. Very glad we chose this!


This was my first Road Scholar trip. It was an excellent value, and very enjoyable. The learning experience was in-depth (great instructors and presenters) and the social interactions were satisfying. We were well fed and housed, and engaged in thought provoking topics and activities. The museums and cultural centers we visited were a worthwhile use of our time. I will certainly take another Road Scholar trip in the future.


My husband & I are planning to give a talk here @ our Senior Living Facility about this tour, using photos and our enthusiasm for this program.


This was a remarkable experience. My husband and I signed up because we love history and the topic of the Conversos and Crypto-Jews was intriguing to us. Neither of us knew very much, but after this tour, we have a list of books and movies on our to do list. I had no idea of the vast numbers of Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th centuries and kept fleeing north through Mexico and into the modern day American southwest. Whether you believe Columbus was Jewish or not, many of the conquistadors were likely of Jewish descent which makes you want to examine DNA on everyone in the region. As one of the speakers joked: if you go back far enough, maybe everyone is Jewish! The speakers on this tour, one a Rabbi, another an educator, were outstanding ~ knowledgeable and organized. The two conversos we met were candid and passionate. The group leader Karen was the best ever. Organized, full of helpful information both during the trip and after, she really understood the nuances of the topic and created a friendly, warm dynamic among the group members. And if that weren't enough to entice you, New Mexico is my new favorite state. Physically gorgeous, sun shining all the time, hot but not humid, not crowded, but full of the friendliest people around, we will surely return.

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