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”?
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: