The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies

Who Are The Crypto-Jews?

The secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith is the way that Jews who were forcibly converted to Christianity, known as “conversos”, and some, later as crypto-Jews, managed to stay alive through centuries of persecution. The forced conversion and subsequent expulsion of Iberian Jews in the 15th century ended 1000 years of Jewish life and culture in the Iberian peninsula. Practically overnight, those who escaped fled to the far corners of the world, taking their traditions with them. They were doomed to remain hidden wherever the Church was strong.

Many of those who converted did so against their will, such as at a mass forced conversion that occurred across Spain in 1391. It is important to note that this meant that a large portion of Spain’s Jews were converted more than one hundred years prior to their Portuguese coreligionists. Some, but not all, continued to practice aspects of Judaism secretly, but it is difficult to quantify both the percentage and degree of these secret practices.

See David M. Gitlitz’s “Taxonomy of New-Christians” in his book, “Secrecy and Deceit” (82-90)

Our Mission

The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies was founded in 1991 as a multi-disciplinary academic and secular association that fosters research, networking of people and ideas, and the exchange of information, among scholars and descendants of conversos, regarding the historical and contemporary developments involving crypto-Jews of Iberian origins and other hidden Jewish communities around the world.

Become A Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies Member

Join SCJS today and pay with any credit/debit card. What are the benefits of being a member?

  • A subscription to HaLapid, our printed organization publication
  • You will receive news and commentary via our newsletter, La Granada.

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Membership dues and donations fund the programs and publications of this non-profit organization [501(c)3], open to any and all individuals interested in learning more about this cultural phenomenon.

Coming Soon: Most of our previous articles and text from the “HaLapid” academic journals will be available online for your personal research.

Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies Online Newsletter

La Granada appears throughout the year, bringing you up to date on member news that’s time-sensitive: conference calls for papers as well as conference reminders, and other informative news you can use.

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