For centuries, the clues should have been obvious, hinting at secret histories forged by the obsession of long-dead monarchs:
- A grandmother using olive oil instead of lard
- A father who refused to eat pork on Saturday
- Mirrors covered during times of mourning
- Celebration of a Saint no one else had heard of: Santa Esterica, Saint Esther
But the traditions and coping mechanisms of the descendants of Crypto-Jews who fled or survived the Inquisition remain murky, even more than 600 years after the massacres that coerced more than half of Spain’s Jews to convert to Catholicism – and 500 years after those who did not were formally expelled.
The Bernard Museum’s exhibition, created by ANU – Museum of the Jewish People in partnership with the Jewish Heritage Alliance, explores the history of the descendants of Jews: those who fled, those who were forcibly converted and those who only pretended to be converted.
Visitors will travel across time from the Golden Age of Iberian Jewry under the Muslim Moors; to their Christian persecution; their flight to Europe, North Africa, the Balkans and the New world; and the unique customs they developed to retain their heritage.
Tonight marks the end of this exhibition, and we will celebrate it together. The celebration will begin with guest speaker Dr. Isaac Amon, Director of Academic Research & Program Development at the Jewish heritage Alliance. A first generation American, Dr. Amon’s paternal ancestors originated in 15th century Spain before leaving the Iberian Peninsula due to the Expulsion of 1492. Over the centuries, following their arrival in the Ottoman Empire, they served as Chief Rabbis, diplomats and physicians to the Sultans.
We will then be treated to a culinary demonstration by Israeli-chef, Alon Hadar, on how to prepare and cook Kubbeh, a traditional Iraqi dish, which has gained a popular following in the States in recent years. A tasting will follow.
Finally, the evening will feature a musical program by Trio Sefardi. (Read more about the group here)
Proof of Covid-19 vaccination + booster, along with valid photo identification, required for entry. Masks are no longer required but are encouraged and are available to those who request.