“I am a Jew:” An Oral History profile of Michael Atlas-Acuña

Another paper found online from the archives or from my backlog.

“I am a Jew:” An Oral History profile of Michael Atlas-Acuña

Seth Ward

University of Wyoming[1]


Since the 1980s, many individuals of Hispanic heritage in the Southwestern part of the United States have come forward with claims of being “crypto-Jews”[2]—using various terms such as Marranos, Anusim, and Sepharadim—or simply, “Jews” or “Israel”—and combinations of these.[3] Generally, they claim that their families preserved some aspect of Jewish identity–usually unknowingly. Often they have done some genealogical work, although often this has included finding Jewish or Converso individuals with family names similar or identical to names that have been identified in their families. Strikingly, many of their reports include references to a positive view of Jews or interest in Judaism generated by a sense that Judaism is part of their own heritage. Indeed, much of the discussion and controversy about “Crypto-Judaism” in the contemporary southwestern U.S. refers to precisely these three issues: (1) Genealogy, (2) The Canon of Evidence, and (3) Identity. Only a few years ago, there seems to have been a great degree of reticence and indeed uneasiness about discussing these issues in public forums; in recent years more individuals have spoken out freely.


TO READ THE FULL PAPER GO TO http://www.uwyo.edu/sward/acuna%20profile%20and%20interview.htm

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