A Thread in the Tapestry

The Narros of Saltillo Mexico in History and Literature By Kathleen Alcalá Presented to the Society for CryptoJudaic Studies   August 21 2001 Pueblo Colorado   Published in Halapid Volume IX Winter 2002 My name is Kathleen Alcalá and I am a writer who lives in Washington State My first novel Spirits of the Ordinary is based on the story …

Seth Kunin: Rabbi and Scholar

Several years ago Professor Seth Kunin and I attended a national conference of messianic congregations where I had been invited to lecture on the history of cryptoJudaism in New Mexico As we passed by the numerous displays of talletim kippot and prayer books Seth whispered to me “As a rabbi I’m appalled but as an anthropologist I find all this …

Bob Hattem: Founding Editor of HaLapid

Early Member of SCJS He Attended First Conference A bookshelf takes up a whole wall of the room History books occupy most of the available space and a large portion of them are California History books One shelf contains early first editions dating back to the late eighteenth century Here is an eyewitness account of the American Revolution published in 1806; …

The End of Jewry in Sepharad Land of the Hebrew Golden Age

In 1492 Jews in the Spanish kingdoms of Castile and Aragon were given a stark choice: baptism or departure from a land where they had dwelt since the days when their ancestors had called it Sepharad While Fernando of Aragon and Isabel of Castile are rightfully held accountable for decreeing the expulsion events of the previous century created the conditions …

Doña Gracia Nasi Translated from Ladino

(This fragment of a previously untranslated document in Ladino from Salonika eighty years ago reflects the continued focus on Doña Gracia by the descendents of the people she rescued It is from the Ladino publication Folyeton del Pueblo (Salonika 1929/5690) and discusses the role of Doña Gracia in protecting the anusim in the sixteenth century and then the fascination with the newly …

Doña Gracia Nasi

Doña (Lady) Gracia Mendes will not be forgotten since her contributions to humanity and to the Jewish community are so large Gracia’s struggle against the world dominated by men enabled her to set a precedent for other Jewish women to follow (ie Esperanza Malchi) Always expecting the impossible she overcame strife in order to salvage her beliefs both in Judaism …

The “Discovery” of Doña Gracia

Rising from the Footnotes of Hisstory to Recognition on her 500th birthday In 1996 I decided that the book I was to write about the Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal would utilize biography I reasoned that readers would get more out of a work of history about a distant place and age if they could identify with the persons …

Doña Gracia Nasi A Legend in her Lifetime

Gracia her Hebrew name was Hannah was born in 1510 in Lisbon Portugal to the wealthy and aristocratic Nasi family of Marrano Jews originating from Spain Marrano was the term commonly used for the newly converted Jews or Conversos as they were called They were officially al lowed to enter the world of Portuguese society on an equal basis although …

Rabbi Albert Plotkin

Introducing Albert Plotkin: The Best Rabbi Notre Dame Ever Produced! With added comments by Gloria Trujilo (see below) Allow me to introduce one of my very favorite people in all the world Rabbi Albert L Plotkin The rabbi was one of the first people I met when I moved to the Greater Phoenix area in 1976 He’d been here since …

Colorin Colorado Este Cuento No Se Ha Acabado!

Several years ago I was taken on a spiritual trip that to this day has revolutionized my life in a manner that needs explanation as does the title of this article Before I translate I must tell you that this phrase is used at the end of a story telling session The phrase means: Color red this story has not …