|Subject: Re: The Crypto-Jews in Belmonte Portugal|
I just thought you'd like to know that here is an organization of crypto-Jews in the U.S.,with member from all over the country but in greater numbers from the western U.S., mostly from California, New Mexico and Arizona, and they have an annual meeting, which I had the pleasure of attending once or twice. The ancestors of some of these victims of persecution from Spain and Portugal, arrived in New Spain as the earliest settlers, keeping their secret traditions. Many of those of the last couple of generations never discovered their relationship until they were adults, some now in their thirties and forties. There is a program for the study of this phenomenon at the University of New Mexico which has been in existence for a number of years.
Several years ago a close friend of mine, Professor Emeritus Eduardo Mayone Dias, former head of the Department of Portuguese at U.C.L.A. and a world renowned authority on Portuguese literature, published a small, fascinating and very readable book on the subject entitled "Portugal's Secret Jews: the end of an era". I was privileged to read the original manuscript and assist with some minor idiomatic and grammatical changes.
The book was sponsored by the Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese and was published by Pereginação Publications of Rhode Island. I am checking with Dr. Dias to see if the book is still available, in case any of you might be interested. I can assure you it makes fascinating reading to those interested in this topic.
Best to all, Don in Los Angeles