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Spanish Speaking Jews

Spanish speaking Jews are a tremendously important historic and contemporary element of Jewish life. The dual legacies of the Inquisition and Spanish colonialism provide the backdrop for the reality of many of today’s Jews. For centuries, one of the strongest and most powerful Jewish communities could be found on the Iberian Peninsula, in the geographic area known among Jews by its Hebrew name Sepharad. Beginning in 1492, Jews were forced out by the Inquisition that demanded—on pain of death—conversion or migration. Many Jews abandoned their religious heritage while others took to observing in secret, underground. Descendants of these Jews are called Anusim and today, many with Jewish heritage seek to return to Judaism. With the help of Rabbi Juan Mejia, Be’chol Lashon provides significant Spanish language resources to those seeking to connect, explore or embrace Judaism. Be’chol Lashon works with Jewish leaders throughout Central and South America to understand the needs and concerns of existing and emerging Jewish individuals and communities. In North America, we work with Jewish leaders, organizations and institutions to help them better understand the needs of Spanish speaking Jews and Latinos interested in engaging in Jewish life.

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