Colombia’s Day of the Little Candles looks an awful lot like Hanukkah

Alan Grabinsky, JTA, 12/17/2019

Jews in Colombia preparing for Hanukkah saw something earlier this month that no doubt looked very familiar.

The Jews of San Miguel de Allende

Roslyn Bernstein, Tablet, 04/21/2019

The service was electrifying, conducted in Hebrew, with some readings in English and Spanish, and enthusiastic communal singing.

In Brazil, a rabbi opens the world’s first summer camp for descendants of forcibly converted Jews

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, 03/28/2019

At the world’s only summer camp for descendants of forcibly converted Jews, Oseias Teixeira had numerous first-time experiences.

On this Spanish island, Purim used to be the biggest holiday for persecuted Jews

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, 03/12/2019

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain — On this island south of Barcelona, Jews celebrate Purim these days pretty much as they do most anywhere else in Europe — finally.

Portuguese Town Reopens Renovated Museum about Crypto-Jews

News Brief, JTA, 08/24/2017

he Portuguese town of Belmonte has reopened its Jewish museum — the largest in the world about crypto-Jews — following a $350,000 renovation project.

Cuba’s Jewish History, from Columbus to the Present

Staff, Mosaic, 08/23/2017

Yosef ben Levy Ha-Ivri was a Spanish Jew who converted to Catholicism in 1492, just before Ferdinand and Isabella’s decree banishing Jews from the country went into effect. Shortly thereafter—now using the name Luis de Torres—he joined Christopher Columbus on his voyage across the Atlantic; legend has it that Columbus thought de Torres’s knowledge of Hebrew, Arabic, and other languages might be helpful in communicating with the natives.

Irene Shaland: The Island within an Island: The Cuban Jewish Story of Survival

Irene Shaland, Sephardi Ideas Monthly, 08/21/2017

Cuba has been a refuge for the Jews since 1492, when conversos sought a safe haven from the Spanish Inquisition. Today, a tiny but united community of one thousand remains after more than five hundred years of history and five distinct waves of Crypto-Jewish and Jewish immigration.