05 June 2010

New York: Forced converts talk, June 13

The historic Gomez Mill House museum is the venue for a program on the forced converts of the Spanish Inquisition on Sunday, June 13.

Sephardic scholar and author Shelomo Alfassa will present "The Impact of the Spanish Inquisition on the Forced Jewish Converts," at 1pm at the oldest standing Jewish dwelling in North America.

Alfassa coordinates Special Projects for the American Sephardi Federation at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. The program was organized by the Gomez Foundation for Mill House, which manages and operates the 296-year-old Gomez Mill House in Marlboro, Orange County, New York.

Named for Jewish merchant Luis Moses Gomez - a descendant of a forcibly converted Jewish family - who built it in 1714, other pioneers, patriots and significant owners who came later are also honored at the house.

Gomez was born in Spain, fled with his family to southwest France, and arrived in New York via England and the Caribbean. The building was a trading post for his business interests and trade along the Hudson River.

During 2010, a Sunday series at Mill House includes tours, workshops and other activities at the house which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum's goal is to raise awareness of the long history and roe of American Jews as pioneers, predating the American Revolution by many decades. For more information on this and other programs, click here.

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