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Pics from Lost: The Hidden Jews

Professor (and Chef) Carlos Zarur

Professor Carlos Zarur hosted a fascinating evening on Crypto-Jews for Menorah at the Boulder JCC Sunday night. Crypto or Hidden Jews are those whose families converted to Catholicism 500 years ago to escape the Inquisition, yet kept their faith alive in secret and within their families for hundreds of years.  After 10 years of field research, Zarur estimates that there are as many as 8 million Crypto-Jews in Central and South America, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Western Europe and points further east.  As these Jews are slowly re-emerging, they are creating an interesting problem for the orthodox and Ashkenazic rabbinic establishment in dealing with yet another challenge to traditional modes of Jewish identity and is adding yet another set of wrinkles to the question, “who is a Jew”?

Artist Beatriz Pestana-Osuna from Venezuela, a Sephardic Jewess of Spanish-Portuguese origin and Crypto-Jewish background.

For more information about the subject of the evening, here is a link to the original story about this event.

Meanwhile, here is the slideshow of pictures from the event, including pictures of the very tasty Adafina stew that is a traditional Shabbat meal for Crypto Jews:

About David Fellows

I've been writing things since grammar school, and served as a writer, photographer and/or an editor on my junior high and high school newspapers; the Daily Trojan at USC (where I earned my journalism degree); the student newspaper at the Anderson School at UCLA (where I earned my MBA); and written and edited countless business documents and presentations in the ensuing twenty years. I've been involved Jewishly since my bris and in Boulder since 1995. I'm married to my Executive Director Cheryl, and we have two children, Lauren and Ethan.

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  1. Hi David, thank you for the photos and article, and for joining us last night. Thank you again!!! Beatriz.

  2. Lost was an extremely interesting and well put together program thanks to all the hard work of Menorah. I really enjoyed the talk, the movie and especially the food!