Sefarad, The Untold Story That changed The World – Part 2

SEFARAD, The Untold Story That changed The World - PART 2

Jewish Heritage Alliance, in collaboration with our co-hosting Partners, presents...

"Sefarad: The Untold Story That Changed the World”

A 3-part series exploring History, Memory, and Legacy

The Sephardic experience is more than merely recounting a history; this is a far-reaching segment of Jewish and world history spanning centuries with profound consequences still unfolding in present day. Yet despite its historic importance, many in the Jewish and Latino communities have yet to learn the relevance and impact of these events.

Part II / Aug 22: Challenging Religious Authority: The Birth of Heresy and the Inquisition

The Inquisition is infamous in popular culture for the severity of its tortures and persecution of heretics. In Spain and Portugal, this powerful tribunal sanctioned by the Catholic Church became obsessed with the phenomenon of “Judaizing” (Jews who were forcibly converted to Christianity but who secretly tried to keep the Laws of Moses). This webinar will examine the Iberian Inquisition and its relentless pursuit of Crypto-Judaism for three and a half centuries on five continents, reshaping the world of Sefarad.

Welcome Remarks:

Jason Guberman  is a social entrepreneur who specializes in building broad coalitions and melding intellectual and technical innovation. Jason is the American Sephardi Federation’s Executive Director, founding Executive Director of Digital Heritage Mapping, and coordinator of DHM’s flagship initiative, the Diarna Geo-Museum of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Life, which was a 2017 cover story in Newsweek and profiled in the June 2020 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine.

Guest Speaker / Presenter:

Dr. Isaac Amon, JHA’s Director of Research & Project Development will take us on a fascinating journey spanning time and space to the origins, experiences, and legacy of Sefarad, the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula, today’s Spain and Portugal.

Musical Guest:

Al'Fado is a fresh Israeli-Portuguese ensemble based in the rich music scene of Lisbon. It focuses on music originating from the Iberian Peninsula, through the cultures of the medieval-times Hebrew communities and the chant in an ancient dialect of Spanish mixed with Portuguese and Hebrew called Ladino. We will feature their musical video Rikordus di mi Nona that was written by the late Flory Jagoda, of blessed memory, a Ladino legend that survived the two world wars and settled in America where she became a world-renowned figure of the Sephardic culture. Al’Fado’s lead singer, Gal, had the opportunity to meet her and obtained her permission to recreate the song which describes her childhood memories in the former Yugoslavia.


PART III / SEP 19: In the Footsteps of the Crypto Jews: A story of Agony, Survival and Redemption

This segment will deliver the amazing journey of resilience, survival, and redemption, as we walk in the shadows of Crypto-Jews who lived their lives in mortal danger of the Inquisition. This webinar shows how conversos, despite incredible obstacles, strove to remain faithful over centuries to their ancestral legacy.

Musical Guest: Dr. Ariel Lazarus is a Composer, Classical Guitarist, Music Lecturer, conductor and co-founder of the Israeli Ladino Orchestra.

Registration for the September 19 event will be available on September 2, 2021. Look for our announcement.

About the three-part Series:

Jewish history and communal life on the Iberian Peninsula originated in the time of the Roman Empire. Under Moslem rule, prosperous, flourishing, and well-integrated Jewish communities achieved financial, social, and intellectual success and during the Golden Age, Spain became the center of the Jewish world in Europe. However, due to political and social developments in the Late Middle Ages, life markedly changed as persecution, discrimination, and forced conversions ensued, culminating with the royal decree to expel Spanish Jewry in 1492. This infamous edict, which followed a long trend in European history, led to the Sefardic Diaspora as Iberian Jewry sought new places of refuge, creating new worlds for themselves and their descendants. Yet, more than five centuries later, the ancestral call of Sefarad remains.


This program is being presented by the Jewish Heritage Alliance in partnership with the National Museum of American Jewish History, ANU Museum of the Jewish People, The American Sephardi Federation’s Institute of Jewish Experience, Fundación HispanoJudía, EJCC European Jewish Community Center, University of Miami (Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies and the George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies), and Kulanu.

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