Fascinating, exotic and Jewish
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Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration 3:00-5:00 p.m.: After checking into the hotel and getting your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in. Orientation at 5:00 p.m.: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Transportation for program-related activities will be via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: At 6:30 p.m. enjoy a buffet meal in our private meeting room with a salad, entrée, dessert, coffee, tea, water. (Please note that we must receive dietary preferences, such as vegetarian or gluten free, no later than 3 weeks prior to the program start.)
Evening: Take the rest of the evening to continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; standing at the museum; walking up to several blocks over paved terrain in Old Town. The activity level for this program is "On Your Feet." Participants should be able to walk several block, stand up to an hour and climb stairs.
Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room at 7:30 a.m.; selections usually include fruit, yogurt, pastries, oatmeal, eggs, potatoes, turkey sausage, juice and coffee.
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.
Lunch: Plated meal or buffet at a local restaurant includes salad, selection of entrées, coffee, tea, soft drinks and water.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll hear an overview on the history of Albuquerque and New Mexico. We'll then depart for Albuquerque's Old Town, where our Group Leader will introduce us to the oldest part of Albuquerque during a walking exploration of the plaza and surrounding area. Old Town has been the focal point of community life since Albuquerque was founded in 1706. About ten blocks of historical adobe buildings surround the central plaza, including San Felipe de Neri Church, which 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. There will be some time for independent explorations of the area. Nearby museums include the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science across from Old Town on Mountain Road and the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History adjacent to Old Town.
Dinner: In the hotel meeting room.
Evening: We'll continue learning about Crypto-Jewish history with a lecture entitled "The Columbus Question."
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking a few blocks over the course of the day; standing up to two hours at Cultural Center and Museum.
Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room.
Morning: Explore 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. Our self-guided visit will introduce us to New Mexico's many different Pueblos as we view the Pueblo-curated exhibits on the lower level.
Lunch: Plated meal at a popular local restaurant includes entrées, coffee, tea and water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll travel to Albuquerque's Civic Plaza where we'll see the Holocaust Memorial. 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. We'll then visit the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico. 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 Cultural Genocide. Return to the hotel.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from your program price so that you can enjoy what you like or sample the local fare. Not to be confused with "Tex-Mex," New Mexico cuisine includes elements of both Native American and Spanish influences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestion for dining options in the area.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; standing for 1 1/2 hours at the Hispanic Cultural Center.
Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room.
Morning: We'll begin the day with an expert-led lecture expanding our knowledge of the lives of Conversos and Crypto Jews. We'll then travel to the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which will help to expand our understanding of 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 circulating exhibition of art from the Center’s permanent collection.
Lunch: Plated meal from a select menu at a popular local restaurant includes selection of entrées, coffee, tea, soft drinks and water (additional beverages available for purchase.)
Afternoon: This afternoon we'll hear from two presenters who will discuss their Converso/Crypto-Jewish heritage and their voyages of discovery into their own personal histories. A roundtable question-and-answer session follows.
Dinner: In the hotel meeting room.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling 135 miles for 2 1/2 hours over the course of the day; standing and walking for up to two hours over uneven and rough packed dirt terrain at Acoma (walkers and wheelchairs not recommended.)
Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room.
Morning: After breakfast we'll board our motorcoach and depart for Acoma Pueblo. Acoma's ties to Jewish history in New Mexico lie in the Pueblo's relationship to Jewish trader Solomon Bibo, the only non-Indian to become governor of a Native American Pueblo. Built on top of a 367-foot-high mesa to protect it from attack, the old Pueblo village has no electricity and no running water. While a few dozen Pueblo members live atop the mesa, most live in villages at the base of the mesa. On arrival at the Sky City Cultural Center 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, choice of chicken or vegetarian wraps and soft drinks.
Afternoon: Return to Albuquerque.
Dinner: At the hotel.
Evening: Program closing.
Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room. Breakfast is the last meal included in the program.
Morning: Hotel checkout time is 12:00 p.m. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
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.
We just loved this program on Converso and Crypto Jews! Everything about it was first rate. The program leader was outstanding, and the program itself was interesting, informative and fun! We had a great time and no complaints. If this subject interests you, you will surely thoroughly enjoy the program.
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.
This program exposes one more terrible series of events which mar the human history in our world. I knew NOTHING about the Jewish people who were forced to leave their native country (Spain) only to have the "religion" of the "powers in charge" forced on them after fleeing to a remote place which was half a world away. Now, decendents of those people are learning of their genetic makeup via DNA testing only to realize that 400 years ago their forbearers were forced to adopt a different religious tradition. SAD!!!
This was an experience that was more than just lectures and touring. It went way behind to truly an "experience." Very worthwhile and I will definitely participate in a Road Scholar program again.
This was a great experience. Very informative, learned more than I expected and the field trips were great. A great place to visit if you enjoy art.
Excellent experience. Speakers were amazing and the field trips were great! Especially noteworthy was the coordinator-Karen. She did an outstanding job.
The program on Crypto and Converso Jews in New Mexico was just perfect. A thorough overview accompanied by excellent speakers and travel to Indian pueblos and fantastic museums made the program just what one would want. Nancy LeVanr, Rochester, New York
A real life/live detective story with good guys/bad guys and lots of drama. That's a flippant description of the people in New Mexico who have discovered that their forbears were Conversos from Spain or Portugal. Some connected long series of hints/behaviors/habits which came together when they learned about Jewish culture. Some had DNA analysis and discovered an unexpected link. Others noticed six pointed stars on tombstones or a family habit of touching a doorframe before entering a house. This Program intoruduces participants to this very interesting facet of New Mexico history which dates to the Conquistadores. It was fascinating for an old Presbyterian/agnostic like me!
Excellent program in all areas. Exceeded my expectations. Very glad I went on this adventure.
Wonderful program with comprehensive information from diverse points of view about the Conversos/Crypto Jews. Interesting field trips to Indian pueblo, various museums, and city of Santa Fe. Gorgeous New Mexico scenery.
A very informative and enjoyable experience!
This is an enjoyable and informative program. The activities were very well coordinated by the group leader.
Very informative program with an excellent group leader. Would highly recommend to anyone interested in this part of history.
Overall I loved the topic, the content of the presentations and the skill of the speakers and the group leader for handling all our questions. This program is so needed at this time in the USA when tolerance is being challenged on many levels!
This program provided an understanding on how people found their Jewish heritage in the face of overwhelming odds.
I found out that there is going to be a Converso program on Rosh Hashana. Why couldn't you have a free day on Rosh Hashona, so Jews could go to temple on their high holiday.
I have been wanting to participate in the Converso/Crypto Jewish program in Albuquerque for several years. I was not disappointed in its quality.
This opens doors to a "new world" The information was well presented and I left with a different perspective.
Surprisingly informative and Educational for any curious person. Jewish or not, this little known episode in a series of events will give anyone a clear picture of how and why Jewish people were scattered around the world, from New Mexico and Europe through the Middle East and even to China. It was caused by a series of disruptive and very inhumane events and many of the offsprings of these in fortionates do not know that their grand parents were Jewish and that they are a living product of these disruptions.
This is a wonderful, informative, and interesting program with good side trips. The leader and speakers were terrific. I enjoyed the side trips too.
A fascinating study of a little known group of Jews who discovered their Jewish roots in various ways hundreds of years after their ancestors were forced to convert or leave Spain. Meeting these people and hearing their stories was absolutely riveting! Excursions to Sante Fe, a native village and the local art museum rounded out a wonderful week of learning, culture and adventure. The guide was terrific and very well organized. The group was a manageable size. The people were like minded in their search for knowledge (though not all were Jewish). There was a great mix of touring, lectures and free time. All in all, an excellent experience. I highly recommend it.
This was my first Road Scholar trip and I hope that there will be more to follow. Everything about it was excellent and I have been telling my friends how wonderful an experience it was and encouraging them to explore the website and book a trip of their own.
The story of the Crypto-Jews in New Mexico is one that is truly amazing. How so many people managed to pass on traditions for hundreds of years defies belief. You will learn about immigration to the New World from perspectives that are not covered in our American public school education. A great treat awaits if you select this program!
The was the most fulfilling program that I have had with Road Scholar with the exception of the European trip six or seven years ago. This has been the equal of that.
This program was outstanding! The content was deep and meaningful and gave me an entirely new understanding of Conversos and Crypto-Jews. The pacing was excellent as were the instructors.