Guardians of Crypto-Jewish Traditions: a Historical and Genealogical Journey

Monday May 13, 2013

750 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM

Phone: (505) 982-2226
Website: Click to Visit






Phone: 505-982-2226
Website: Click to Visit

Lecture with Dr. Isabelle Medina Sandoval.

Lecture is free to members of the Society, $10 for non-members. (Memberships in the Spanish Colonial Arts Society begin at $40 and may be purchased at the door.)   Reservations are required, so please call 505-982-2226 to reserve. Dr. Isabelle Medina Sandoval is an educator and writer; she is a published poet and genealogy researcher.  She has won short story, poetry and literacy contests.  She has been listed in Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Phi, New Mexico Acequia Association, New Mexico Jewish Historical Society and Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico.  Her recent book, Guardians of Hidden Traditions, was published in May, 2009, and the book was a finalist for the 2009 New Mexico Book Award for Multi-cultural Subject.  Her second book, Hidden Shabbat, a sequel to Guardians of Hidden Traditions, will be published by Gaon Books in the next several months. She holds a BA in Education from the University of New Mexico, an MA in Reading from the University of Missouri and and EdD in Administration from the University of Wyoming. On a personal level, she is the mother of one son, Tomás, and his wife, Natasha.  She has a grandson, Jacob, and a granddaughter, Gabriella.  She has one dog, Clovis.  She is a poet and conducts family research.  She keeps the family home in Mora that was settled by ancestors who were original members of the Mora Land Grant.  Her family came to New Mexico in 1598 and many ancestors originated from Toledo, Spain and various places in Spain and Mexico. Isabelle guides the audience with the historical and genealogical journey of her New Mexican Grandmothers of her historical fiction book, Guardians of Hidden Traditions.  Catalina Lópezz de Robledo, born in 1548 in Toledo, Spain, was one of the colonists of the 1598 Oñate Expedition.  Catalina López de Telles Xirón, born in 1641 in Santa Fe, Lived in Traumatic times in New Mexico prior to the 1680 Pueblo Rebellion.  María Mascareñas de Sandoval, born in 1755 in Santa Cruz, lived two decades after Miguel de Quintana was reported to the Inquisition in Santa Fe in 1734.  These three women, grandmothers of Isabelle, were descendants of Crypto-Jews.  These women practiced the secret religious traditions of the parents.  Nine generations of women demonstrate the resolve of strong New Mexico crypto-Jewish families preserving traditions practiced by their mothers and fathers.  Under duress, the families had been forced to convert to Catholicism.  As female and male ancestors followed their paths in New Mexico, they hid their Jewish connections from others.  Jewish traditions were kept by families within the household, and they shared their secrets with close family members.  Ultimately, the question raised is – Who is a Jew?  Isabelle will briefly bridge 1810 Spanish New Mexico with her book, Hidden Shabbat, with contemporary issues of three other maternal ancestors born in 1699, 1836 and 1923.  Many New Mexican s have paternal and maternal Jewish DNA.  New Mexican Crypto-Jews, intuitive about their roots, have documented Jewish ancestors, traditions, DNA, archival material and family stories.  Modern Crypto-Jewish descendants, loke other Jews of the Jewish family, recognize that a Jew, any Jew, is a follower of the Jewish faith.