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Zamora Conference report- July 3-5, 2013

Gloria Mound's Trip to Zamora, Spain for the International Congress

"La Aljama de Zamora: Reencuentro e Historia"

July 3-5, 2013

Gloria Mound, executive director of Casa Shalom and senior advisor to the International Institute for Secret Jews (Anusim) Studies and, first became acquainted with Zamora, in northeastern Spain, near the Portuguese border, eight years ago, when she worked on a genealogy. Gloria already knew that the region is rife with b'nei anusim, and Zamora is indeed very conscious of its past, as their vernacular includes many Sephardi terms and the local cuisine has many dishes of Sephardi origin.

The conference, "La Aljama de Zamora: Reencuentro e Historia" was organized by Jesús Jambrina from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA,  and Genie Milgrom (author of My 15 Grandmothers) of Florida, USA. They  had expected only academics to attend the three-day conference, but  hundreds of the local townspeople came attended, and requested Shabbat  dinner as well.

One of the conference presenters was Dr. Avi Gross, a professor at Ben Gurion University, who specializes in the crypto-Jews of Brazil. Dr. Judith Cohen, a world-renowned ethno-musicologist from York University in Toronto, presented a paper as well. She has a longtime connection to Gloria and Casa Shalom, and visited the library this summer when she was in Israel to present at the World Congress for Jewish Studies at Hebrew University in July 2013.

The B'nei Anusim of Zamora would like to establish a Jewish center such as that in Trancoso, Portugal. They need financial support to do so. Gloria is very willing to return to Zamora and help them make this dream a reality.

conference poster
Pre-conference panel, 'Zamora en el mapa de Sefarad' with Anun Barriuso, José Manuel Laureiro, Carlos Zarur, Jesús Jambrina, Ruth Behar and Abraham Haim
A walk through the old Jewish quarter of Zamora with Jesus Jambrina and a tour of the Castle with restoration architect Paco Somoza
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