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Where Genealogy and Spirit Connect, November 24, 2009

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Courtesy of BBS Radio

On, Where Genealogy and Spirit Connect
on BBS Radio
With Host Susan E. King
Stanley M. Hordes, Ph.D. 

November 24, 2009

Stan and Susan will be discussing his work on the Crypto-Judaic experience. His work over many years has uncovered to this day Mexican's who's families still observe customs suggestive of a Jewish background. What is so amazing is how after many centuries, these rituals were practiced in secret, hence the name, secret Jew. It is an amazing story that has unfolded under his leadership over the last 28+ years.

Dr. Stanley M. Hordes, Adjunct Research Professor at the Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico, received his B.A. in History from the University of Maryland in 1971, his M.A. in Latin American History from the University of New Mexico in 1973, and his Ph.D. from Tulane University in 1980. His doctoral dissertation, "The Crypto-Jewish Community of New Spain, 1620-1649: A Collective Biography," was based on research conducted in the archives of Mexico and Spain, supported by a Fulbright dissertation fellowship.

His study on the secret Jews of Mexico revealed a considerable amount of information about the religious customs and career patterns of the descendants of those Spanish Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Many of these conversos continued to practice their old ancestral faith in secrecy, and moved to the Spanish colonies in the New World in order to avoid detection by the Inquisition.

When Dr. Hordes assumed the position of New Mexico State Historian in 1981, he began to encounter Catholic and Protestant Hispanic New Mexicans whose families observed customs suggestive of a Jewish background, such as maintaining dietary laws, celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday, performing ritual male circumcision, etc

Interviews with several dozen informants revealed that while many of these people engage in these practices without knowing why, others, indeed, express an awareness of a Jewish heritage, and regard themselves as secret Jews. Documentary evidence conducted in the archives of New Mexico, Mexico, Spain and Portugal, indicates that some of these individuals descend from secret Jews who had been persecuted by the Inquisition in Mexico and Spain.

Dr. Hordes’s book,To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico, was published by Columbia University Press in 2005 with a generous grant from the estate of Eva Feld. In 2006 the book was awarded the “Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá Prize” by the Historical Society of New Mexico for outstanding historical publication of the year. In 2007, the book won the Southwest Book Award, given by the Border Regional Library Association.

Where Genealogy and Spirit Connect

Show Host

Susan is a Genealogy columnist with The Examiner. As the Genealogy Examiner, Susans column covers cover the gamut of genealogical topics with a rare twist. Through this column Susan will be building a deeper understanding of the spiritual journey of finding our ancestors and finding ourselves. Through a deeper understanding of our history and the history of others will we be.

We live in both very exciting times and very troubling times. But we live in a time where we really do have an opportunity to change; change how we think and feel about ourselves; change how we think and feel about others. We have an opportunity to teach the next generations the importance of preservation, the importance of respect, and the importance of tolerance. There is no better modality than through the study and sharing of our genealogies, our research and through our feelings.

In this light, Susan has launched a new social network,, the place Where genealogy and spirit connect. This site is designed to assist others to embark on their own personal journey tofind your family, find yourself. Susan will be providing start-up consulting, ongoing monitoring and collaborative services as requested and special services.

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