In this two-part program, Schelly Talalay Dardashti digs deeply into Sephardic Jewish history in discussing the post-1391 and post-1492 migrations from Spain and Portugal into the Balkans, North Africa and the New World. She also addresses Sephardic DNA project results and genetic medical conditions (including BRCA1).
A journalist and genealogist, Schelly has written widely on Sephardic Jewish genealogy. She founded the enormously popular and helpful Facebook group “Tracing the Tribe” and has spoken at many conferences on Jewish genealogy, DNA and other topics. She has traced her family across Eastern Europe, Spain and Iran and is active in the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies and the Jewish Genealogy Society of New Mexico.
Maria Apodaca’s talk personalizes the Sephardic experience. Her family’s history is similar to that of other New Mexico Conversos who unknowingly retained centuries-old Jewish family traditions and customs. She will share her compelling personal journey, which includes eventually finding her Jewish roots through DNA.
Apodaca’s family was originally Jewish but forcibly converted to Catholicism before they came to New Mexico in 1598. Maria is the first person in her family to return to Judaism. She is active in the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies and the Jewish Genealogy Society of New Mexico, is a leader of Casa Sefarad New Mexico and coordinates events for the annual Festival Djudeo-Epanyol/Resiliencia event.
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