Devin Naar Dr. Devin Naar is the Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He was summa cum laude at the Washington University in St. Louis, holds a Ph.D in History from Stanford University, and […]
Descended from the Fuentes family, who were Jews in Spain that were forced to convert during the Inquisition, Leonel Chevez was born in El Salvador. The route that led his ancestors there was fraught with danger. During the Inquisition, part of his family converted to Catholicism in Spain and many fled to Istanbul. Later, to […]
New York Times writer Doreen Carvajal was raised as a Catholic, ignorant of her Jewish background, and is now tracing her converso ancestors by examining the testimonies presented against them in their inquisition trials. Read her autobiography detailing her journey called “The Forgetting River.”
500 years ago, their ancestors fled the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions to preserve their Jewish identity. Others converted to Catholicism, secretly holding the religion they had practiced in Iberia for 1500 years.
For over 25 years Rabbi Steven Leon has been extending his knowledge of the Anousim, descendants of Jews who were forced to convert during the inquisition. Anousim in Hebrew literally means “the raped ones.”
Jose Barreiro, the son of devout Catholics from Spain, is exploring a Jewish heritage felt in his heart and recently revealed in his DNA.
Carlos DeMedeiros grew up in a Catholic family in Rio de Janeiro and became a seminarian. The discovery of his Jewish roots from the inquisition led him to better understand the conflicts of his relationship with the Church.
Anna and Ise
Anna Henriques is a Jamaican-born artist and jewelry-maker now living in New York. Her daughter Ise recently chose to have her bat mitzvah in Jamaica amongst her Jamaican family.
Secret Jews Then
Some converted to Catholicism, secretly holding the religion they had practiced in Iberia for 1500 years.
Secret Jews Today
Today the descendants of the Inquisitions are discovering the personal impact of their family secrets, seeking to reclaim their stolen identities and access to their place in history.