21 July 2007

Sephardic workshop, conference: August 5-7

The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society publishes the quarterly Legacy newsletters, and archives them from 1998 on the website.

The June 2007 edition has information on the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies (SCJS) conference and a Jewish Genetics workshop focusing on the Hispanic population.

The SCJS holds an annual conference which I've tried to attend in the past, but my travel schedule just hasn't been able to accommodate that trip. I'm hoping for next year, and encourage those who can attend this year's event to do so.

Information on both events, set for August 5-7, was provided by Dr. Stan Hordes in the current newsletter.

Sunday, August 5, 9 a.m.-4.45 p.m., “Jewish Genetic Diseases and Their Presence among Hispanic Populations in the U.S. Southwest: An Interdisciplinary Workshop;" Doubletree Hotel, Albuquerque, NM. Admission $12, NMJHS members; $20, others; $5, full-time students.

This program will foster greater communication and collaboration among geneticists, clinical physicians, historians, anthropologists, and genetic counselors actively engaged in research regarding certain genetic diseases found among Jewish populations in New Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.

For decades researchers in these fields have been conducting their studies in a methodological vacuum, resulting in incomplete and inadequate work products. Diseases to be discussed include Gaucher’s, Pemphigus Vulgaris, and the BRCA I genetic mutation associated with breast and ovarian cancer.

By bringing together leading experts from diverse and complementary fields for a day-long program, these specialists will learn how colleagues in related disciplines conduct their research and analysis. The program is expected to serve as the catalyst for more elaborate workshops in the future. Ultimately it may spur the formation and development of interdisciplinary teams doing comprehensive studies on the relationship between ethnicity and genetic diseases.

Topics to be examined during the workshop include the presence of genetic diseases associated with Jewish populations that have appeared among Hispanics in recent years.

Workshop and Conference on Crypto-Judaic Studies Scholars and practitioners from the fields of history, anthropology, genetics, genetic counseling, and medicine, will share the results of their individual research, with the ultimate end of developing models of collaboration.

Email nmjhs@jewishnewmexico.org for more information or to make reservations. View the program and other information here.

The program is funded by grants from Genzyme, the Kaiserman FamilyFoundation, and Steve and Connie Robinson through the New Mexico Community Foundation.

The 17th Conference of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies opens immediately following the genetics workshop in the same location, running from Sunday-Tuesday, August 5-7. For program and registration information, click here. NMJHS members, $135.

The meeting will include presentations by scholars from Mexico, Canada, Israel, Great Britain, and the United States, and by descendants of crypto-Jews from New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Mexico who will share observations about their voyages of cultural and spiritual discovery.

The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies was founded in 1991 with the mission of fostering research and sharing of information regarding the historical and contemporary development of crypto-Jews of Iberian origin.

This year’s SCJS conference includes several papers on crypto-Judaism in fifteenth century Spain; a panel on how historians, anthropologists, and sociologists do their work; and presentations on manifestations of crypto-Jewish identity through art forms and poetry, featuring noted New Mexican and Texan artists. Highlighting the meeting will be an appearance by renowned flamenco producer and dancer Lili del Castillo of Albuquerque. She will show and discuss the video of her dance drama “Revelaciones,” which she performed originally for the NMJHS over ten years ago.

This year's event will honor Cary Herz, Dr. Richard E. Greenleaf and Martin Sosin. Herz’s photos on New Mexican crypto-Jewish themes will be published later this year by the University of New Mexico Press. Greenleaf, professor emeritus in history at Tulane University, has written many books and articles on the history of the Inquisition in Latin America, inspiring generations of scholars. President of the Sosin-Stratton-Pettit Foundation, Sosin will be honored for his grant to the conference which provides for expanded attention to the arts and cryptop-Judaism.

Also honored will be SCJS member Martin Sosin, President of the Sosin-Stratton-Pettit Foundation, whose grant to this conference makes possible expanded attention to the arts and crypto-Judaism.

NMJHS members can receive a discounted registration for the SCJS conference of $135, which includes admission to all sessions, Monday and Tuesday continental breakfast, Monday lunch and Sunday and Monday dinners.

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