Journal of Spanish Portuguese, and Italian Crypto Jews

The Society for Crypto Judaic Studies In collaboration with Florida International University Is proud to announce the publication of the second annual edition of JSPIC-J

Journal of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Crypto Jews (JOSPIC-J), a non-profit academic journal published annually by the School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University, Miami, Florida, U.S.A. JOSPIC-J’s goal is to encourage and publicize scholarly research about the crypto Jews of Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and their many descendants today. We publish peer-reviewed articles, research reports, book reviews, and other academic literature.

Journal of Spanish Portuguese and Italian Crypto Jews Volume I, Spring 2009

In Volume 1, we gave special attention to Italy, including Italy in the title as an equal partner with Spain and Portugal, where it should have always been, and helping to correct a weakness for English readers. We also had an article on Italy. We were not the first to include Italy, but we were the first English language major academic journal to fully include Italy in both the title and major coverage.

Journal of Spanish Portuguese and Italian Crypto Jews Volume 2, Spring 2010

With Volume 2, we give special attention to Brazil, another part of the crypto Jewish diaspora which has not received the attention it deserves from English language researchers and publications. As the fifth largest nation in the world, an emerging economic power, and with the largest number of descendants of crypto Jews in the world, it is important that Brazil receive more attention. Almost one third of this issue features Brazil, including one article in Portuguese.

We begin with two brief articles, one on the varying definitions of Jewishness, and one on the special problems of conducting research on people who had or have secret identities. The southwestern United States and Puerto Rico are used as examples of research problems. Then we analyze a conceptual issue of concern to crypto Jewish descendants, whether surnames have crypto Jewish meanings.

Next we move to a geographical perspective, first looking at one of the mother countries, Portugal, with an analysis of music in the lives of crypto Jewish women. We then go to São Tomé, recipient of seven hundred Jewish children who had been kidnapped from their parents in Portugal. Next we feature Brazil with three articles. These include an analysis of the scholarly disagreements on the numbers, past identities, and future identities of descendants of crypto Jews in Brazil, an ethnographic report on people currently returning to Judaism in Brazil, and an enumeration and discussion of Jewish influences found in Brazilian daily life today. We then move to Peru and look at the complicated life of Manuel Bautista Pérez as he tried to survive accusations of being a secret Jew.

As in each issue, we then honor an early pioneer of crypto Judaic studies. Last year we honored Cecil Roth. Now, we look at the contributions of Seymour B. Liebman, a prolific author who dedicated two decades to original research on crypto Jews in different locations, especially Mexico. Recognizing the growing interest and increasing number of books in the field of crypto Judaic studies, this year we initiate book reviews. We review four interesting books, about (1) the continuing question of whether Christopher Columbus was from a crypto Jewish family, (2) the crypto Jews of Spain, (3) the crypto Jews of New Mexico, and (4) Sephardic genealogy. In this last book, we see the difficult problem of trying to research ancestors who were trying to hide or change their identities in order to save their lives. Their belief was “Dum Spiro, Spero.” “While I breathe, I hope.”

In this Volume 3 we continue our goal of covering a wide geo-graphical area of the Crypto-Jewish Diaspora. But, having laid that foundation, we now are expanding more coverage to specific individ-uals of different time periods and locations: Moses Maimonides, and Isaac Orobio de Castro, and briefly, Abraham Abulafia; Madre Sion and the Virgin of Guadalupe, Maria de Zarate, and more recently, Francisco Barrera Sanchez. We also honor Dr. Richard E. Greenleaf’s contributions of the last several decades. Presenting Dr. Greenleaf’s contributions to the study of the Inquisition continues our annual honoring of an early pioneer related to crypto-Judaic studies. Dr. Greenleaf’s contributions are voluminous, and we are pleased to honor him (and list some of his publications).

We also update data which was reported in Volume 1, showing how the changing use of various terms (Marranos, Conversos, Crypto Jews, Secret Jews, Hidden Jews, New Christians, or Anusim) con-tinue to evolve and better define the area of crypto-Judaic studies.

We continue our attention to recent literature, with a review of Richard L. Kagen and Philip D. Morgan’s Atlantic Diaspora: Jews, Conversos, and Crypto-Jews in the Age of Mercantilism, 1500-1800. The article on Sicily uses various sources, but gives special attention to the recent major book by Nadia Zeldes, The Former Jews of This Kingdom: Sicilian Converts After the Expulsion, 1492-1516, and the article on the Caribbean gives special attention to Harry A. Ezratty’s 500 years in the Jewish Caribbean: The Spanish-Portuguese Jews in the Caribbean, Josette Capriles Goldish’s Once Jews: Stories of the Caribbean Sephardim, and Edward Kritzler’s Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean. Volume 2 gave special attention to Brazil, which probably has the largest number of crypto-Jewish descendants of any country in the world, and this volume gives a very brief update on Brazil.

We also continue our policy begun in Volume 2 of having at least one article in a language other than English. Last year we had an article in Portuguese, and this year we have an article in Spanish. In each case the article has been translated into English. This year we also have our first oral tradition narrative article (Carlos Larralde), illustrating how to produce an admirable combination of oral tradition and documented historical research.

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Mail to: JOSPIC-J, 333 Washington Blvd. #336, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

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