Feb 19th JGSColorado presents “Conversos in the American Southwest: Resources, research, DNA and genetics” #events

Ellen Beller

Conversos in the American Southwest: Resources, research, DNA and genetics”


Rabbi J. Gendra-Molina Ph.D., M.H. L, 

Schelly Talalay Dardashti

 Maria Apodaca


Sunday February 19, 2023

Program 10 AM to 12 PM Mountain Time

9:30 AM to 10 AM Schmear, Schmooze, and Share


Bio:  Rabbi Jordan Gendra Molina, Ph.D., is the first Spanish-born (Barcelona) rabbi ordained since the Inquisition and comes from a converso background. A genealogist, archivist, and Road Scholar speaker, hewas ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), holds a Ph.D. in Medieval Jewish History (Universitat de Girona), and a master’s degree in Linguistics and Semitic Languages (Universitat de Barcelona). He speaks over 15 languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, English, Hebrew, French, Romanian and others. He was rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania), Congregation B’nai Tikvah-Beth Israel (Sewell, New Jersey), and taught at Wilson College and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. His academic publications focus primarily on medieval Spanish Judaism and include “Les Responsa de Rabbi Simo ben Tsemakh Duran” [The Responsa of R. Simon B. Tsmakh Duran] (Lleonard Muntaner, 2001).


Schelly Talalay Dardashti will present a deeper look into Jewish ethnicity as seen through historical events, migrations, DNA and genetic evidence covering the post-1391 and post-1492 migrations from today’s Spain and Portugal, around the Mediterranean, the Balkans, North Africa, and  the New World.


Bio: Schelly Talalay Dardashti, MyHeritage's US Genealogy Advisor, was the Jerusalem Post Jewish genealogy columnist (“It’s All Relative,” 1999-2005), an award-winning blog creator (Tracing the Tribe – The Jewish Genealogy Blog), and founded "Tracing the Tribe - Jewish Genealogy on Facebook" with nearly 60,000 members in 101+ countries.

Her articles have appeared in Avotaynu, NGS Quarterly, The Forward, and Hadassah, among others. Affiliations: co-admin, IberianAshkenaz DNA Project, FTDNA; board member, Society for Crypto- Judaic Studies; founding member, Sephardic Heritage Institute NM; and a Persian community liason, Avotaynu Jewish Heritage DNA Project.

Maria Apodaca will offer her compelling personal story: “My Journey: It Only Took 500 Years,” covering her family’s history, genealogy, DNA, and her return to Judaism. She will demonstrate her genealogical research, the Converso history of northern New Mexico, traditions and customs preserved in families since 1598.


Bio:Maria Apodaca’s Jewish family was forcibly converted to Catholicism in Iberia during the Inquisition and arrived in today's Nuevo Mexico in 1598. Maria is the first person in her family to return to Judaism. Affiliations: board member, Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies; board member, JGS of New Mexico; founding member, Sephardic Heritage Institute NM; speaker, Road Scholar.



Members: no charge

Non Members $5


All members and non-members must register!

Ellen Beller JGSCO President