The Capsule Exhibit
"At the Crossroads of Sefarad, In the Footsteps of the Crypto Jews" is a first of its kind Capsule (mobile) Exhibit detailing the Saga of Sefarad (the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula). The exhibit was produced in a collaborative parentship between the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv University campus in Tel Aviv, and Jewish Heritage Alliance, and its member alliance partners. This initiative will bring much needed voice to the story of Sefarad.
The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is a well-respected, accomplished, global institution, focused on telling the ongoing story of the Jewish people to people of all faiths. Jewish Heritage Alliance is a global platform, representing alliance members worldwide, with a mission to research and deliver the story of Sefarad to the Public Domain.
The mobility of the Capsule Exhibit offers a unique opportunity to engage the world with the saga of Sefarad by distributing and sharing the story around the globe. The exhibit will also serve as launching pads for educational programs in schools and other types of learning institutions, community centers, synagogues, and churches, as well as other museums around the world. Due to COVID-19 we are offering an online version of the exhibit which is available below.
At the Crossroads of Sefarad
In the Footsteps of the Crypto Jews
The Saga of Sefarad is a profound narrative detailing historical events and exploits of the Jews that lived in the Iberian Peninsula, nowadays, Portugal and Spain. Jewish Heritage Alliance is proud to join forces with Beit Hatfutsot in creating a first of its kind mobile Capsule Exhibit, illustrating the Saga of the Jews of Sefarad. The exhibit will depict this compelling story and all its complexities. From the early beginnings, when the Jews first arrived at the Iberian Peninsula, through the erratic, precarious times and events, including the "Golden Age", one of the greatest periods of Jewish history, a period of immense achievements, followed by the tragedy of the pogroms, massacres, Inquisitions, forced conversions wherein thousands of Jews were forced to convert to Christianity (Bnei Anusim, Conversos; Marranos; Crypto Jews), ending with exile. The Exhibit follows in the footsteps of the exiles, illustrating how these brave, tenacious people settled, flourished and contributed to creation of a new world; and how many of the Conversos tried to keep their faith for generations under disguise as Christians.
The story of Sefarad is illustrated on panels consisting of pictures and text that will be available via PDF files (portable document format) allowing delivery of the exhibit electronically across the globe. The story is presented by dates, events and people relevant to the Saga of Sefarad. From the early arrivals to Portugal and Spain, continuing along the various countries the exiled traversed. From Europe, to Asia, and the Americas, including the emergence of present-day Converso (Bnei Anusim) phenomenon. The Exhibit will feature stories of prominent historical figures including giants such as Maimonides, Menashe Ben Israel, Dona Gracia Nasi and other important personas.
The Sefarad Capsule Exhibit
At the Crossroad of Sefarad Capsule Exhibit is a new initiative. The mobility of the Capsule Exhibit offers a unique opportunity to engage the world at large with the saga of Sefarad by distributing and sharing the story with Institutions and organizations around the globe. The exhibit will also serve as launching pad for educational programs in schools and other types of learning institutions, community centers, synagogues and churches, as well as other museums around the world.
The project was conceived by Michael Steinberger, Founder and CEO of Jewish Heritage Alliance, and Itamar Kremer, Educational Director at Beit Hatfutsot. The design and development of the exhibit is attributed to DR. Orit Shaham Gover, Chief Curator of Beit Hatfutsot and her devoted team - DR. Dvir Zur and DR.Meirav Balas. The project is supported by strategic partners, key among them is ATP (Porto and Northern Tourism Association), represented by Mr. Rui P. Gonçalves with aid and assistance of Mrs Ruth Calvão, board member of JHA and founding member of Centro de Estudos Judaicos de Trás -os- Montes (Center for Jewish Studies in Trás-os-Montes). The exhibition is endorsed by the President of the Portuguese Republic; the Portuguese Parliament, and the Spanish Jewish Network, as well as other public and private NGOs and Institutions worldwide.
The exhibit was presented on November 12, 2019 at Bet Hatfutsot Museum in Tel Aviv, with the formal launch to follow in Porto, Portugal in early 2020, and thereafter it will be available worldwide.
Michael Steinberger welcomes participants to the “At the Crossroads of Sefarad… In the Footsteps of the Crypto Jews” Capsule Exhibit Presentation at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, Nov 12, 2019.
Michael Steinberger explains the Genesis and purposes of the mobile exhibit “At the Crossroads of Sefarad… In the Footsteps of the Crypto Jews” during the Exhibit Presentation at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, Nov 12, 2019.
Michael Steinberger speaks about the importance of the exhibit “At the Crossroads of Sefarad… In the Footsteps of the Crypto Jews” as relating to present day Converso phenomenon at the Exhibit Presentation at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, Nov 12, 2019.
Rui Pedro Goncalves, Executive Director Associação de Turismo do Porto (ATP), shares his enthusiasm and commitment to promoting Jewish heritage and the exhibit “At the Crossroads of Sefarad… In the Footsteps of the Crypto Jews” during the presentation at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, Nov 12, 2019.
Itamar Kramer, Educational Director at Beit Hatfutsot worked closely with Michael Steinberger in developing the Capsule Exhibit, speaks to the importance of this project during the presentation of Nov 12, 2019 at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Ruth Calvão, Member of JHA Board and founding member of Centro de Estudos Judaicos de Trás -os- Montes (Center for Jewish Studies in Trás-os-Montes, Iberian Historical and Cultural Routes), discussing the pride of the Bnei Anusim (Conversos) of their heritage and their significance in the saga of Sefarad.
Revital Blumenfeld, Director of Communications at Beit Hatfutsot, speaks to the objectives and relevance of the mobile exhibit in telling the rich and profound story of the Bnei Anusim. Their tenacity in maintaining their Jewish identity in hiding and the journey back to Judaism in some cases.
Dr. Joel (Yoel) Rappel, professor at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, also director of the Eli Wiesel Archive at Boston University, affirms the significance of the exhibit during the presentation of Nov 12, 2019.