Sefarad, The Untold Story That changed The World – Part 3

SEFARAD, The Untold Story That changed The World - PART 3

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

In this third and final webinar of the series, we will walk in the long shadows of Sefardic Crypto-Jews who lived their lives deprived of access to normative Judaism and under constant threat of severe, life-threatening punishment by the Iberian Inquisition. Despite incredible obstacles, many Crypto-Jews strove to remain faithful, over the centuries, to their ancestral faith and traditions. This remarkable story of resilience, survival, and redemption recreated Jewish communities across Europe and the New World, and continues in our time, contributing to the indelible legacy of Sefarad.

Welcome Remarks:

Dr. Josh Perelman is Chief Curator & Director of Exhibitions and Interpretation at the National Museum of American Jewish History. He is a member of the Museum’s senior team and oversees NMAJH's exhibitions and education departments as well as its artifact collection. Josh has curated award-winning special exhibitions, launched the Museum’s national curriculum, and served as chief curator for the landmark core exhibition that inaugurated NMAJH’s new building on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. Josh holds dual PhDs in Jewish Studies and American History from NYU.

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. Isaac is an attorney and counselor at law. He graduated summa cum laude with “Highest Honors” in History for his thesis on the Spanish Inquisition. He was awarded a Dagen-Legomsky Fellowship and worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague where he met with Benjamin Ferencz, the last living Nuremberg Prosecutor. He has visited execution sites and torture chambers of the Inquisition as well as Nazi death camps. At the onset of the global pandemic, he was in the Iberian Peninsula researching the Iberian Inquisition.

Musical Guest:

Dr. Ariel Lazarus is a Composer, Classical Guitarist, singer, and musical director of the Israeli Ladino Orchestra. His Ph.D. work included a field research of the Spanish and Portuguese melodies in the Jewish community of Gibraltar. He has recorded several international albums inspired by his Sephardi heritage and performed worldwide as musical ambassador on behalf of the ‘Amiel Bakehila’ -Israeli Ministry of Diaspora affairs program. Dr. Lazarus is a music lecturer at "Givat Washington" college, and the Rimon School of Music in Israel (for more info please visit We will feature Lazarus’s new rendition to the high holydays Piyyut (sacred poem) “Achot Ketana” (Little Sister) that was written by Abraham Ḥazzan of Gerona in the 13th century. This Piyyut is sung by Sephardi communities from the west and the east just before the entrance of the new year at Rosh Hashanah's eve.


Women of Sefarad Series

October 2021: Jewish Heritage Alliance supported by our co-hosting partners will resume the multipart webinar series celebrating the courage and determination of the Women of Sefarad. The forced conversions of the Jews in Spain changed the face of Spanish Jewry. The dismantling of Jewish institutions by the Inquisition rendered the home as the gatekeeper of Jewish traditions. The role of the woman as wife and in charge of children and household, made her the transmitter of family traditions and culture.

At the Crossroads of Sefarad... In the Footsteps of the Crypto-Jews

At the Crossroads of Sefarad... In the Footsteps of the Crypto-Jews webinar series is based around the mobile exhibit by the same name consisting of a set of specially designed panels depicting the saga of Sefarad. The exhibit was a collaborative effort developed by leading experts on Sefardic Jewish history and culture, prepared by Israel’s ANU Museum (previously Beit Hatfutsot) in collaboration with the Jewish Heritage Alliance, supported by the Portuguese Government Tourist Office of Porto and others. The exhibit explores two remarkable and interrelated phenomena- the story of the Sefardic Jews of the Iberian Peninsula until 1492 and the tragic saga of one of its offshoots- the crypto-Jewish diaspora.


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 Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, 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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