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22854
New Mexico

New Mexico’s Conversos and Crypto-Jews in Santa Fe

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. 22854RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
New Mexico

New Mexico’s Conversos and Crypto-Jews in Santa Fe

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
1,499
Length
6 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
1,499
Program No. 22854RJ

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climate
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Itinerary Note

Friends of Millie

Oct 16 - Oct 21, 2022
Starting at
1,599
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
1,599
Itinerary Note

Travels with Lisa

Oct 30 - Nov 4, 2022
Starting at
1,499
Apr 23 - Apr 28, 2023
Starting at
1,549
May 14 - May 19, 2023
Starting at
1,599
Jun 4 - Jun 9, 2023
Starting at
1,699
Jun 18 - Jun 23, 2023
Starting at
1,699
Sep 10 - Sep 15, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Oct 15 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
1,699
Oct 29 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
1,549
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
Starting at
2,179
Itinerary Note

Friends of Millie

Oct 16 - Oct 21, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Itinerary Note

Travels with Lisa

Oct 30 - Nov 4, 2022
Starting at
1,809
Apr 23 - Apr 28, 2023
Starting at
1,869
May 14 - May 19, 2023
Starting at
1,939
Jun 4 - Jun 9, 2023
Starting at
2,109
Jun 18 - Jun 23, 2023
Starting at
2,109
Sep 10 - Sep 15, 2023
Starting at
2,289
Oct 15 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
2,109
Oct 29 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
1,869

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 conversos and Crypto-Jews who practiced their faith in secrecy traveled to the New World and finally to New Mexico. Here 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
Keep the Pace
Walking up to 2 miles a day over uneven terrain; standing up to one hour, some stairs. Elevations of 7,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Meet descendants of New Mexico conversos for personal insight.
  • Travel to Taos via the High Road and learn about its fascinating history.
  • Explore the history of Santa Fe with an expert on New Mexico’s conversos and Crypto-Jews.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less. For a less active version of this program, please see "New Mexico’s Conversos and Crypto-Jews" (#11007). It includes similar and complementary educational content and is based in Albuquerque.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Jordi Gendra-Molina
Rabbi Jordan Gendra-Molina 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 dedicated 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.

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

Profile Image of Ron Hart
Ron Duncan Hart is a cultural anthropologist, writer, editor and translator who has focused his studies on Jewish folklore and Sephardic traditions. He has taught anthropology at universities around the world including Georgia State and the University of the Andes in Bogotá, and has worked in South America with UNICEF and the Ford Foundation. The author of more than a dozen books on religion and social change, Ron has received awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Science Foundation, and Fulbright, among others.
Profile Image of Maria Apodaca
Maria Apodaca View biography
Maria Apodaca’s family arrived in what is today's New Mexico in 1598. She is a descendant of the B'nai Anusim, Spanish and Portuguese Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism in the 15th century. Maria is a member of Congregation Albert; a founder and board member of the Sephardic Heritage Institute New Mexico; a board member, Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies; and a board member, Jewish Genealogical Society of New Mexico.
Profile Image of Jordi Gendra-Molina
Jordi Gendra-Molina View biography
Rabbi Jordan Gendra-Molina 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 dedicated 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 Colleen Patrick
Colleen Patrick View biography
A native of Colorado and a relative newcomer to New Mexico, Colleen Patrick has spent a lifetime visiting and learning about Pueblo culture, pottery and the movement of Native Americans and Spaniards throughout New Mexico. Colleen has been in the travel business since 2006, but has been a traveler since her childhood. She learned to appreciate new cultures and new places as a child and has loved sharing new places and cultures with guests for many years.
Profile Image of Kris Herbst
Kris Herbst View biography
As a storyteller and interpretive leader, Kris enjoys exploring and studying the Southwest's cultures and natural history from his home in Santa Fe. He has edited a guide to the geology of the Abiquiu region and has led groups to archaeological sites on a cattle and guest ranch near Salida, Colorado. An experienced journalist, Kris serves as chief editor for Ashoka, a global organization that identifies and supports the world's leading social entrepreneurs. Kris received his master's in city and regional planning from Harvard.
Profile Image of Schelly Dardashti
Schelly Talalay Dardashti View biography
Schelly Talalay Dardashti, a native New Yorker, has lived in Teheran, Tel Aviv, New Mexico. She is the US Genealogy Advisor for MyHeritage, and has traced her Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi families across Iran, Spain, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. An early proponent of DNA for genealogy, she created the award-winning "Tracing the Tribe - Jewish Genealogy on Facebook." She is a Board member of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies; founding member, Sephardic Heritage Institute New Mexico; and President, Jewish Genealogical Society of New Mexico.
Profile Image of Sherry Moon
Sherry Moon View biography
Sherry Moon is a certified interpreter for the profession of heritage interpretation and an experienced group leader. She has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications and has taught communication and art. For nearly 20 years, she has been a group leader specializing in the Southwest and Alaska/Yukon. As president of the Rocky Mountain Guides Association, she is regarded as a local expert. Her interests include the arts, history, heritage, geology, reading, outdoor activities, and socializing with friends.
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.
Taos, A Topical History
by Corina A. Santistevan
Profiling the small, but highly influential northern New Mexico town, this collection of 23 essays were written by scholars in a variety of fields, including: archaeology, geology, history, art and literature.
Indian Arts of the Southwest
by Susanne Page
Featuring color photographs of the basketry, pottery, weaving, jewelry, and carvings of 200 noted artists, this book is both a collector's guide and cultural history of the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo peoples and other native peoples.
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.
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.
Dark Beauty, Photographs of New Mexico
by Jack Parsons
Southwest photographer Parsons presents the rugged landscapes and the people of New Mexico, exploring religious iconography, far-flung ranches, small towns and wide open spaces in this full-color coffee table book.
The Great Taos Bank Robbery
by Tony Hillerman
Nine indelible tales of life in New Mexico by the great newspaperman and author of the terrific series of mysteries set on the Navajo Nation.
New Mexico, Images of a Land and Its People
by Bill Richardson (Foreword), Art Gomez (Introduction), Lucian Niemeyer (Photographer)
Featuring 150 handsome color photographs, this compendium presents New Mexico's diverse peoples (Paleo, Plains and Pueblo Indians, Hispanos and Anglos) and, of course, the state's magnificent scenery.
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 Art of New Mexico: How the West Is One
by Traugott, Joseph
An illustrated compendium of New Mexico art from the 1880s to the present that considers historical and cultural significance with a wealth of information about the artists and their pieces. Written for a broad audience.
Traditional Arts of Spanish New Mexico: The Hispanic Heritage Wing at the Museum of International Folk Art
by Robin Farwell Gavin
This compilation of more than 100 items from the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe offers good insight into Spanish colonial art in New Mexico.
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.
Edge of Taos Desert, An Escape to Reality
by Mabel Dodge Luhan
First published in 1937, this story reveals the spiritual awakening the New York socialite experienced through Taos, the Pueblo Indians and Indian Tony Luhan, whom she later married.
Santa Fe, History of an Ancient City
by David Grant Noble (Editor)
A revised edition of of this classic history of Santa Fe to the mid-nineteenth century, featuring essays by ten scholars and hundreds of archival photographs, drawings and maps.
Santa Fe
by Gene Peach
Filled with the dynamic culture of Santa Fe (a uniquely wonderful piece of the USA) this book of images moves through the seasons, capturing summer’s low-rider cars, autumn’s harvest, spring’s bursting of color and much more in The City Different.
Frommer's Easyguide to Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque
by Barbara Laine
A comprehensive, practical guide to the region with excellent recommendations for hotels, restaurants and excursions. With two-color maps throughout.
Santa Fe Map
by MapEasy
A plastic-coated, fold-up map of Santa Fe, including Taos and Albuquerque. Size: 18x27 inches.
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.
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.
The Spell of New Mexico
by Tony Hillerman (Editor)
A selection of 12 thoughtful essays on the New Mexico state of mind by great writers, including C.G. Jung, Mary Austin, D.H. Lawrence and Lawrence Clark Powell. Hillerman succeeds in communicating the lure of the desert Southwest in this wonderful, literate introduction to the state.





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