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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
1,199
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.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,199
Program No. 11007 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 30 - Jun 4, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,199
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,199
Oct 17 - Oct 22, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,199
Nov 7 - Nov 12, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,199
Mar 13 - Mar 18, 2022
Starting at
1,239
Apr 3 - Apr 8, 2022
Starting at
1,239
May 1 - May 6, 2022
Starting at
1,239
Sep 18 - Sep 23, 2022
Starting at
1,239
Oct 16 - Oct 21, 2022
Starting at
1,239
Nov 13 - Nov 18, 2022
Starting at
1,239
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 30 - Jun 4, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,399
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,399
Oct 17 - Oct 22, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,399
Nov 7 - Nov 12, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,399
Mar 13 - Mar 18, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Apr 3 - Apr 8, 2022
Starting at
1,449
May 1 - May 6, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Sep 18 - Sep 23, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Oct 16 - Oct 21, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Nov 13 - Nov 18, 2022
Starting at
1,449

At a Glance

In 1492, the Alhambra Decree forced Spain’s Jewish citizens to make an unthinkable decision: convert to Christianity or leave the country. Over the next 500 years, the saga of the conversos and Crypto-Jews — who practiced their faith in secrecy — brought them to the New World and finally to New Mexico, where their traditions melded with those of the peoples of the Southwest. In this land of canyons and desert, trace the struggle of New Mexico’s conversos and Crypto-Jews, and consider how their traditions have managed to survive against the odds.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking a few blocks over uneven terrain; standing up to one hour, some stairs. Elevation of 5,300 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Meet New Mexico conversos for personal insight.
  • Visit Acoma Pueblo and learn about its fascinating history.
  • Enjoy field trips to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less. For a more active version of this program, please see "New Mexico’s Conversos and Crypto-Jews in Santa Fe" (#22854). It includes similar and complementary educational content, but is based in Santa Fe.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Maria Apodaca
Maria Apodaca’s family has been in New Mexico since 1598. She comes from the B'nai Anusim, people who were forced to convert to Catholicism in the 14th century. Maria is active as a member of congregation Nahalat Shalom; is a founder and board member of Centro Sefarad NM, a Sephardic heritage program of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico; and active in the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies. She is the event coordinator for the Festvial Djudeo-Espanyol festival, and a co-leader of the monthly Sephardic dinner.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Jordi Gendra-Molina
Jordi Gendra-Molina View biography
Rabbi Jordan Gendra was born in Barcelona, Spain. He pursued rabbinic studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) in Philadelphia, and was ordained by RRC in June 2006. While a student at RRC, Rabbi Jordi gave many hours to helping other students with Talmud (Jewish law), Hebrew, Aramaic, and history. He holds a PhD in medieval Jewish history from Universitat de Girona in Spain and a master’s in Semitic languages, with a specialization in Hebrew and Aramaic, from the Universitat de Barcelona.
Profile Image of Maria Apodaca
Maria Apodaca View biography
Maria Apodaca’s family has been in New Mexico since 1598. She comes from the B'nai Anusim, people who were forced to convert to Catholicism in the 14th century. Maria is active as a member of congregation Nahalat Shalom; is a founder and board member of Centro Sefarad NM, a Sephardic heritage program of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico; and active in the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies. She is the event coordinator for the Festvial Djudeo-Espanyol festival, and a co-leader of the monthly Sephardic dinner.
Profile Image of Min Kantrowitz
Min Kantrowitz View biography
Rabbi Min Kantrowitz is a Rabbis Without Borders fellow based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She directed the New Mexico Jewish Community Chaplaincy Program for 12 years, serving unaffiliated Jews throughout the state through pastoral care and spiritual counseling. She currently teaches privately in a variety of venues. A 2004 graduate of the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, a transdenominational Jewish seminary, she is the author of "Counting the Omer: A Kabbalistic Meditation Guide."
Profile Image of Christopher Gibson
Christopher Gibson View biography
Christopher Gibson is an award-winning artist, writer and arts educator who makes his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work includes the Cuentos del Camino series on lower Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe and mixed-media installations at numerous museums in New Mexico and California. Over the years he has written several articles on Hispanic Arts and Culture for the magazines Tradición Revista and Imagen.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Mezuzah in the Madonna's Foot
by Alexy, Trudi
New Mexico, A History
by Joseph P. Sanchez
This cooperative effort between three native New Mexicans is the first complete history of New Mexico. It charts the state’s development from 16th-century Spanish colony to frontier province, from its 1912 American statehood to a hub of (often classified) scientific research. A vital source for anyone seeking to understand the complex history of the West.
Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors
by Reston, James Jr.
The Jews of Spain
by Jane S. Gerber
A straightforward, readable history of Jewish life in Spain. The book covers life in Spain up to the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, and continues with chapters on the Sephardic diaspora.
Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History
by Joe Sando
An expansive history of the Indian Pueblos of New Mexico from a Native American perspective. The book explores the origins of the tribe to its current struggles to maintain sovereignty, land and water rights.
A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism
by Goldstein, Phyllis
The Spanish Inquisition
by Cecil Roth
This documents the events leading up to the Inquisition, the torment that spread from Spain to Portugal and the New World -- a fascinating exploration of the roots of the Inquisition and its effects on the country.
Pioneer Jews: A New Life in the Far West
by Rochlin, Harriet and Fred
Sephardim
by Diaz-Mas, Paloma
The Story of the Jews, Finding the Words 1000 BC-1492 AD
by Simon Schama
A marvelously readable, far-reaching chronicle of three thousand years of Jewish history.
The Marrano Legacy: A Contemporary Crypto-Jewish Priest Reveals Secrets of his Double Life
by Alexy, Trudi
Sephardim in the Americas
by Cohen, Martin and Peck, Abraham J.
To the End of the Earth
by Hordes, Stanley M.
After encountering New Mexicans who abstained from eating pork and lit candles on Friday night, Hordes realized these practices were passed down from the early crypto-Jewish settlers. He follows the legacy of the crypto-Jews from their origins in medieval Spain and Portugal through their settlement in New Spain and current reemergence of their culture and practices within the Hispano community.
New Mexico's Crypto-Jews: Image and Memory
by Soltes, Ori Z. (Introduction), Carl Herz (Photographer)
A photographic tribute to the New Mexican descendants of the Crypto-Jews, a subsect of Europeans who were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Spanish Inquisition. Though publically they were Catholic, the Crypto-Jews continued to privately practice their Jewish faiths. Black-and-white photos are supplemented with essays.





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