“Redefining Crypto-Jewish Identity: Then and Now”

“Redefining Crypto-Jewish Identity: Then and Now” Conference of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies

The 26th conference of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies features more than 45 speakers from eight countries. They include academics, independent scholars, those sharing personal journeys, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and authors. Sessions include a genealogy workshop, three concerts, films, DNA and epi-genetics, history, literature, language, crypto-Jewish communities in several countries, and more.

The program is online at

Join us for the 26th conference of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, an international academic research and cultural association devoted to the history of the descendants of Jews who were persecuted in Spain and Portugal from the 15th-18th centuries.

Our keynote speaker will be Inquisition history specialist Dr. Richard Kagan, Arthur O. Lovejoy Professor, Early Modern European history at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. His books include the edited Atlantic Diaspora:  Jews, Conversos, and Crypto-Jews in the Age of Mercantilism, 1500-1800, Students and Society in Early Modern Spain (1974), and Inquisitorial Inquiries: Brief Lives of Secret Jews and Other Heretics. His keynote, “A Hornet’s Nest of Heretics,” will focus on an interesting case of 17th-century crypto-Judaism in Mexico City.

The conference begins Sunday, June 26 through Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe. In addition to presentations by noted scholars, attendees will hear from individuals describing their discoveries of Jewish heritage.

This year’s theme – “Redefining Crypto-Judaic Identity: Then and Now” – invited presentations on crypto- Judaism from any discipline (e.g., anthropology, history, sociology, philosophy, literature, music, art history, etc.) and from any geographic location or time period, especially the issue of crypto-Jewish identity, both historically and currently. Any and all aspects of the Sephardic experience and that of other communities exhibiting crypto-Judaic phenomena anywhere in the world were encouraged.

The conference offers presentations by members of the crypto-Jewish community; arts displays, scholarly presentations and informal social networking. The Monday evening Judy Frankel Memorial Concert will feature Vanessa Paloma, while Hazzan Neil Manel Frau-Cortes will perform at the Monday mid-day concert.

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