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Q: Percentage of Hispanics who are Jewish? ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Percentage of Hispanics who are Jewish?
Category: Relationships and Society > Religion
Asked by: adamsimon-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 21 Sep 2006 16:34 PDT
Expires: 21 Oct 2006 16:34 PDT
Question ID: 767442
I'm a Cuban who has converted to Judiasm (now affectionately know as
the Jewban by my peers) and I was trying to find other Hispanic Jews
to no avail.  Finally I started searching to find what percent of
Hispanics/Latinos are actually Jewish and it seems that the percent is
so low that no one has data for it.  So I turn to GA for help.

What percent of Hispanics (Latin Americans, residents of Spain, and
Hispanic-Americans) are Jewish (all denominations)?

Request for Question Clarification by bobbie7-ga on 21 Sep 2006 20:14 PDT

I can tell you the percentage of Jewish people in South America  and in Spain.

Would this information be of your interest?

Subject: Re: Percentage of Hispanics who are Jewish?
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 22 Sep 2006 00:12 PDT
Dear Adamsimon, 

First of all, I loved the "Jewban"... :-) And I guess that Happy New
Year is also in order today!.

Wikipedia states that "There are also Hispanic Jews, of which most are
the descendants of Ashkenazi Jews who migrated from Europe (German
Jews, Russian Jews, Polish Jews, etc.) to Latin America, particularly
Argentina, in the 19th century and during and following WWII, and from
there to the United States. Some Hispanic Jews may also originate from
the small communities of reconverted descendants of anusim ? those
whose Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Jewish ancestors long ago hid
their Jewish ancestry and beliefs in fear of persecution by the
Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition in the Iberian
peninsula and Latin America. There are also the now
Catholic-professing descendants of marranos and the Hispano
crypto-Jews believed to exist in the once Spanish-held Southwestern
United States and scattered through Latin America. Additionally, there
are Sephardic Jews who are descendants of those Jews who fled Spain to
Turkey, Syria, and North Africa, some of who have now migrated to
Latin American, holding on to some Spanish/Sephardic customs, such as
the language Ladino. " (SOURCE: Wikipedia, Hispanic

These "Crypto-Jews" mentioned in the paragraph above, are the ones
also mentioned by Markvmd:
Wikipedia - Crypto Judaism 


And also this site, abotu Crypto-Jews in the United States: 

However, if we get back to yoru question, regarding Jews in Latin America:
History of the Jews in Latin America 
here, you can see percentage by country. 

Regarding Jews in Spanish/Portuguese-speaking communities in Africa, you can read: 

Unfortunately, I think that in the United States, it is rather
difficult to know how many Jews are Hispanics (or vice versa): There
is no official statistics on things like that and it is rather
difficult also to collect it. According to Wikipedia:
"A good proportion of the Jewish population of Miami, the second
largest Jewish community in the United States, immigrated from the
countries of Latin America. Many of these Hispanic Jews speak Spanish
in the home, and some have intermarried with the non-Jewish Hispanic
population. There are a large number of synagogues in the Miami area
that give services in the Spanish language, as well as a French Creole
language synagogue in Miami's Little Haiti."

In general, also see:

And as for your fellow Jewbans: 

Brett Ratner
<> (listed on Wikipedia as a
Jewish Cuban-American, here:

Jamie-Lynn Sigler
<> (see family history
on the page itself)

Olga Guillot

But especially this one, by Ruth Behra: 
Ruth Behar: Adio Kerida 
<> (a "personal documentary
about the search for identity and history among Sephardic Jews with
roots in Cuba")

And : 
Gigi Andres 
<> (who wrote a book, "Jubana")

And hey man, they stole your website: 

Especially this article would be of interest: 
Cuba's Jews Fight Isolation
by Laurie Goering, August 5, 2001

From here we get to other sites about the Jewban/Juban community: 

The Virtual Jewish History Tour: Cuba by Rebecca Weiner

Jewish Cuba


Jews of Cuba 
<> (list of articles/links)

Cuban Jews by: Miriam Felton-Dansky

For Cuban Jews, endless deprivation By Steve Fainaru, Globe Staff, 09/23/96 

Dade attracts Hispanic Jews, The Miami Herald September 28, 1999

Larry Luxner, "Miami?s newest Hispanic Jews have little to do with
comfortably established ?Jubans?", Jewish News Weekly, May 14, 2004,

Atlanta Jewish Journal: Say hello to the jubans 

The 'Jewbans' Of Atlanta

I hope this answers your question, despite the sketchy statistics that
there are on such a subject. You're not alone, that's for sure. Please
contact me if you need any clarification on this answer before you
rate it.
Subject: Re: Percentage of Hispanics who are Jewish?
From: markvmd-ga on 21 Sep 2006 20:34 PDT
When I lived in Spain I had the delight of meeting and providing
guidance to a woman who discovered she and her family were Jewish, and
the family had not known it for nearly 500 years.

Each of the female children were taught by their mothers highly
stylized rituals and "incantations" to perform at certain times. Most
of the women assumed they were practicing some sort of witchcraft but
they were actually saying Sabbath prayers and ritual cleansing rites.

The boys were given "good luck incantations" to say each morning which
were a few snatches from morning prayers. They were also taught an
incantation for their 13th birthday but the tradition was rarely
performed (though it survived to the early 20th century).

Research showed the family had been one of thousands-plus subjected to
the Inquisition after being forced to convert (it is odd that the
worst punishment was saved for forced converts; those who declined to
convert were usually just killed-- bad, sure, but quicker than all
that torture-- or expelled). The irony is this family was doing
exactly what the Inquisitors suspected they were doing!

Long story short, Adamsimon, is the many autos da fe, the religious
persecution sanctioned (promulgated, encouraged, enjoyed...) by the
Catholic Church which is so pervasive in Hispanic and Latin countries,
and a litany of pogroms, blood accusations, and other acts of
intolerance caused much of the Jewish population that Islamic Spain
(Iberia, actually) had from the 10th to the 15th century to be
destroyed or scattered. Hence, not a lot of Hispanic of Latin
(Sephardic) Jewry.

But there are enough. A Researcher will find you the information you
seek, I am confident.
Subject: Re: Percentage of Hispanics who are Jewish?
From: richardmtl-ga on 22 Sep 2006 06:15 PDT
Great answer on a $2 question! I commend you, politicalguru!

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