Sedona AZ (April 7, 2018) – The Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley is presenting a Video and talk on Hidden- or Crypto-Jews who fled from Spain to Portugal as a result of the Expulsion Edict in 1492. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, April 18 from 2 – 4 pm at the synagogue, 100 Meadowlark Drive in Sedona. Two hundred years after the conversion of the Jews of Portugal, the Inquisition continued to imprison and torture their descendants, so many traveled seeking freedom in the New World. This documentary tells us how the Crypto-Jews in the mountains of Portugal survived during 500 years, secretly trying to keep the Jewish tradition alive.
The next documentary in May (Thursday, the 17th) will focus on how families in the American Southwest are only discovering their Jewish roots today even after several hundred years, during which Jews who had outwardly converted to Catholicism continued to practice certain Jewish rituals, sometimes not even aware of their origins. More information will be given closer to that date.
The screening and discussion will be led by Kohava Benatar, who is Sephardic, born in Bulgaria to a family which had come from Thessaloniki, Greece, and had originated in Spain. They had never converted, but had always remained Jewish, part of those who escaped and carried on their traditional language – Ladino –foods, and customs, as distinct from Ashkenazi Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. Kohava is bringing this continuing series of documentaries about Sephardic Jews of Spanish origin, to show a less-known chapter in Jewish history. In Spain during the Golden Age more than million Jews lived together with Christians and Moslems for more than a thousand years until the Expulsion in 1492. There is no charge for this series of documentaries. For more information, call the JCSVV office at 928 204-1286.