Officers & Board of Directors

President:  Genie Milgrom. President  of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami as well as President of  Tarbut Sefarad Fermoselle. Genie is a researcher of Crypto Jewry in Spain  and Portugal in the areas surrounding the Douro River and is author of  My 15 Grandmothers as well  as How I found My 15 Grandmothers . Her own extensive research  which led her to find an unbroken maternal lineage of 22 generations of  grandmothers is an unparalleled work of genealogy  Her web site is

First  Vice President : Open

Vice  President of Communications and Editor of HaLapid: Corinne Joy  Brown. Corinne is an author of four books to-date and senior writer on four national  magazines. A past president of the Denver Woman’s Press Club and a charter  member of Women Writing the West, she was Board Chair of the Mizel Museum of  Judaica in Denver from 1990-2000. She created WritingtheWest a literary  conference, now part of Western State College Humanities program. She is a board  member of the SCJS and editor of HaLapid, the Society’s literary  journal/magazine.
A partner with her husband in a contemporary home  furnishings business since 1976, they have one son and live in Englewood,  Colorado. Click here to  see her website.

Vice  President of Programs: Matthew Warshawsky, Ph.D. An Assistant Professor at the University of Portland. Academic degrees: Ph.D.,  Spanish Literature and Culture, Ohio State University, December 2002. M.A.,  Spanish Literature and Culture, Ohio State University, June 1998, B.A., Latin,  Swarthmore College, June 1992. He has lectured as conferences of SCJS and  contributed articles to HaLapid. His teaching and research interests  include: Jewish history, literature, and culture in Latin America; Sephardic  studies (Sephardic describes Jews who trace their ancestry to Spain and  Portugal); Spanish literature and culture of the Renaissance and Baroque eras;  and Latinos today in the United States.  For his profile at the University of Portland, click here.

Vice  President of Membership: Schelly Talalay Dardashti. A  genealogist, journalist, international speaker and instructor, Schelly has  traced her  Sephardic, Mizrahi and Ashkenazi family across Spain, Iran,  Belarus, Lithuania and around the world for more than 25 years. She is the US  genealogy advisor for A pioneer award-winning genealogy blogger  (, since 2006), she also moderates Tracing the Tribe –  Jewish Genealogy on Facebook, with nearly 1,000 members, and  administrates/co-administrates several DNA projects at,  including the IberianAshkenaz DNA Project. The former genealogy columnist for  the Jerusalem Post (1999-2006), she has been published in many news outlets,  such as JTA, The Forward, Family Tree Magazine and more. She has served as  president of several Jewish genealogical societies in the US and  Israel.

Treasurer: Arthur  Benveniste. A  member of SCJS since 1993, traveling with society members to Belmonte when the  SCJS conference was held there in 1994. Mr. Benveniste has served the society as  president and HaLapid editor. A retired history teacher, he is  active as a speaker on Sephardic and crypto-Jews. More information at:

Secretary:  Frances Salas. Frances  Salas holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Management with a concentration  in Management Information Systems and International Business. She has a Masters  Degree in Education with a concentration in Youth at Risk.  She teaches  SmartLab at Carlos F. Vigil Middle School in Espanola, New Mexico.   SmartLab is a computerized learning center with 25 subjects, such as  robotics, physics, digital animation, and other related fields. Frances also  owns and manages a farm in Presidio, Texas, where she manufactures anti-aging  cream and soap.  Frances is a descendent of the original crypto-Jews that  came from Spain and Portugal.  Her ancestors are the Torres, Romero, Salas,  and Ortiz families.

Immediate  Past President  :Roger L.  Martinez-Davila, Ph.D: Assistant  Professor, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He is currently teaching an online course: Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain,  More information at:


Grants  and Arts Administrator : Dolores (Dolly) Sloan. Ms. Sloan is Author of the nonfiction  history The Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal, and Editor of  the Journal of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian  Crypto-Jews. Society member since 1998, she is Research Fellow for  Sephardic and Crypto-Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado  Springs, developing curriculum for the program with which SCJS is  affiliated  She is also Grants Administrator for the Society. Ms.  Sloan is a former arts and health administrator for the state of New Mexico and  a speaker in the U.S. and Europe on crypto Judaism.  More information  at:

Member  at Large and Editor of La Granada: Debbie Wohl  Isard. Debbie Wohl Isard has been an active member of SCJS for several years and is the creator of our online magazine, La Granada.  See the current issue of La Granada here

Member  at Large and Membership Chair : Gloria Trujillo. A member of the SCJS since 1991, Ms. Trujillo has served the Society as  President, Immediate Past President and Conference Chair and has served on  numerous Society committees. She is a founding member of the Genealogical  Society of Hispanic America and is active in several other genealogical  organizations.

Member  at Large and Regional Director : Chana Cohen: A member of SCJS since 2008, she has actively promoted the Society since that time.  Chana attended Harcum College, Columbia University, and Gratz College respectively concentrating on Business Administration, Art History and Jewish Studies, as well as studying at Aish Ha Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem.  Chana has been to Israel 24 times on learn and study programs.   She was the sole proprietor of a major Judaica business in Philadelphia for many years.  To date Chana has been published in the JNS, The Algemeiner, and the Jerusalem Post as well as other publications.  She is an ardent advocate for the Bnai Anusim and traveled to Israel with them and Rabbi Stephen Leon on “The First Official Visit of the Bnai Anusim to Israel.”  Chana has and continues to be a Docent at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

Member  at Large: Miriam Herrera.

Parliamentarian  and Counsel : Harry Ezratty An  attorney, historian, writer, lecturer and Sephardic Jew who, for more than 30  years, researched the history of the Sephardim in the Caribbean. He is the  author of 500 Years in the Jewish Caribbean: The Spanish &  Portuguese Jews in the West Indies Jews of the New  World and They Led the Way: the Creators of Jewish  America. He is currently preparing Vol.III, “The Builders: Jews  Who Shaped Modern America.

Member  at Large and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Spanish,Portuguese and Italian  Crypto Jews : Abraham (Abe) Lavender, Ph.D. Dr.  Lavender received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Maryland with a  dissertation on generational changes in Jewish identity. He is Professor of  Sociology at Florida International University in Miami, FL. One area of his  specialization is World Jewish Communities, with an emphasis on Sephardim. He  has been an active member of the Society since 1996, and was president from 2003  to 2007. He is the author/editor of seven academic books, six articles in  HaLapid, about fifty other academic articles, and over eighty encyclopedia  articles or academic book reviews, many on Judaica. He is the editor-in-chief of  the Journal of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian Crypto-Jews. More  information at:

Member  at Large: Arnold Trujillo; Mr.Trujillo discovered that he was descended from Spanish Jews who had been forced to convert. His search for the background of his family let him to the SCJS where he has been a very active member of the board for many years. He created the first Genealogy Workshop for the society and our first on-line board meeting. He is an official with the Seventh Day Adventist Church and The Pacific Union Conference.

Member  at Large: Seth Ward, Ph.D. Is Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Assistant Academic  Professional of Religious Studies at the Univesity of Wyoming. He has done  extensive studies of crypto-Jews and has given papers at SCJS conferences and  contributed to HaLapid.
Member at Large: Leonard Stein, a resident of Israel, Mr. Stein is the first international member of the board. He has been active in the study of Crypto Judaism for many years and last year he presente a paper at our annual conference.

Senior  Adviser to the Board: Stanley Hordes, Ph.D., A  founding member, Dr. Hordes received his Ph.D. in Colonial Mexican History from  Tulane University, with his doctoral dissertation on the crypto-Jewish community  of Mexico in the seventeenth century. He is the author of To the Ends of the Earth: A History of  the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico (Columbia University  Press).

Membership  Committee and Regional Outreach,  Rachel Bortnick and Isabelle Sandoval Medina:

Rachel Bortnick, born in Izmir, Turkey, is a fluent speaker of Ladino and the creater of Ladinokomunita, an online Ladino discussion group. She has been very active in promoting Sephardic/Ladino culture, history, traditions and mush more.

Dr. Isebelle Medina Sandoval is an educator and writer; she is a published poet and genealogy researcher.  She has won short story, poetry and literacy contests.  She has been listed in Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Phi, New Mexico Acequia Association, New Mexico Jewish Historical Society and Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico.  Her recent book, Guardians of Hidden Traditions, was published in May, 2009, and the book was a finalist for the 2009 New Mexico Book Award for Multi-cultural Subject.  Her second book, Hidden Shabbat, a sequel to Guardians of Hidden Traditions, will be published by Gaon Books in the next several months.

Chair of the SCJS Crypto-Judaic Arts Programs Committee, Ellen Premack, Executive Director of the Mizel Museum, Denver. she has been a contributor to programs at the annual SCJS conferences and to arts coverage in HaLapid, our website, La Granada and Facebook


Advisory  Council


Abraham  Gross Ph.D.

Stanley  Hordes, Ph.D.

Seth Kunin  Ph.D.

Abe  Lavender Ph.D.

Dolly  Sloan

Matthew  Warshawsky Ph.D.