JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen JGSLA September 20 meeting to feature Arthur Benveniste and Sephardic Jews #general

jan meisels allen <janmallen@...>

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles (JGSLA) will meet on Monday
September 20, 2004 at 7:30 p.m at the Skirball Cultural Center. The program
speaker is Arthur Benveniste talking on: Secret Jews: History and Culture of
Crypto-Jews and Their Search for Jewish Roots and Identity.

Arthur Benveniste is the past president, the Society for Crypto Judaic
Studies and co-editor, HaLapid, the Society's journal. In 1992, he was
invited by King Juan Carlos of Spain to attend the quincentennial
commemoration of the expulsion of the Jews. During this time, the edict of
expulsion was finally repealed. During that year on Tisha B'av he
participated in the first Jewish religious service in La Blanca Synagogue in
Toledo since 1391 . He has visited Jewish sites in: Spain, Portugal,
Italy, Morocco, Turkey and Greece.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, Jews of Spain and Portugal were forced to
convert to Catholicism or leave. Many families kept the knowledge of their
Jewish past for 500 years, transmitting it in secret to their children and
often continuing to practice Jewish rites covertly. Now, descendents of
these Crypto-Jews ( also known as Conversos, Marranos and Anuism) are
reconnecting with their Jewish heritage. This presentation will follow the
history of the forced conversions of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, the
emergence of Crypto-Judaism, how these communities came to the Americas, and
the discovery of their Jewish background by many Hispanics today.

This meeting is co-sponsored with the Skirball Cultural Center.

Non-members are welcome and there is no charge for attending.

Location: Skirball Cultural Center- Magnin Auditorium 2701 N. Sepulveda

Directions: Exit the San Diego Fwy at Skirball Center Drive. Right onto
Sepulveda Blvd. and right again into Skirball parking, opposite Center
entrance, or turn left on Herscher Drive, north of the Center, to the
underground parking lot.

For more information on the JGSLA please visit our website:

Jan Meisels Allen
vice president-programs, JGSLA

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