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"The Golden Age of Jewish Spain" (A Conference, March 2, 2014)

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The Spanish Jews and Jewish Renewal

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By Elisheva I. Diaz, M.T.S., D.D., Conference Chairman
President of Ayekah Jewish Education and The Coalition for Ladino Legacy


The Prophet Obadiah (1:20, Hebrew scriptures) said: “And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel, that are among the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath, and the captivity of Jerusalem, that is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the South”. (This refers to the Negev where many Sephardic Jews are returning as they make Aliyah to eretz Israel.)

This prophecy is coming alive today as Spanish Jews (the Anusim) Crypto Jews are surfacing all over the diaspora. It was in 1492 that after years of forcing our people to convert to Catholicism the inquisition decided to expel Spanish Jews from Spain. They left and sought safe havens elsewhere. They dispersed throughout many places around the globe. Many arrived in South and Central America and as far west as Mexico. The persecution continued as copycat movements surfaced like the Mexican Inquisition. (1571 through 1820)

Their only alternative was to convert or be tortured and murdered. Hard decisions to preserve their life were made which included true and false conversions to Catholicism. A multitude lived their life in hiding and in order to keep their children safe, they withheld their true identity as Jews. This loss of identity has continued for generations and continues within our families today. It is not unusual to have an interfaith situation in our homes nor is it uncommon to be brought up as a Christian.

Nonetheless, there are some thing’s that never change; our roots and our Souls. The storms in life may come and they may go and the leaves may fall off the tree, but the roots of our tree remain with us and no matter where we go in life, we take those roots with us.
At the time of this writing something both eerie and profound is happening with Jewish Renewal. We, the people of Sepharad are returning. Just as the Prophets Obadiah and Ezekiel saw it; (Ezekiel 37:1-15) the dry bones are coming alive with a new breath..

What is happening is simple yet complex; The Divine Soul of the Anusim seems to be crying out without sound. The cry I speak of is within the Soul. It becomes so loud and so very profound that if this is your journey you will toss and turn in your heart daily until you find your way back. It is your journey toward the Shema. It is the Aliyah of your Soul. There is a Spanish saying; “De tal palo, tal astilla” It is from your root that you grow.

On Sunday March 2nd, 2014 at Temple Ami Shalom in West Covina, California we are having an all day Historical and meaningful Conference to bring awareness to this movement by educating and mobilizing what we believe to be a major wave of Jewish Renewal. We hope that you will join us and help us spread the word.
The day will be filled with presentations in the morning, a panel discussion, a Flamenco show and special music by the Kol HaEmek Choir and others. We will have lite snacks available at break times.

For information; please call, 888.567.7474 or email:
Wanda (Hannah) Calime at

More information on our event can also be found by visiting Temple Ami Shalom website:

Purchase your tickets by going to our pay pal account at :



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