Were the first American Jews in the Southwest?

How far back does American Jewry go? Most would say 17th century New York. But an expert at Florida International University says the starting point may instead be the Southwest in the 15th century—and she'll say why in an upcoming talk.

Annette B. Fromm will discuss "Material Evidence of Crypto-Jews in the American Southwest" at 7 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. She will trace what she believes to be the route of Sephardic Jews who fled Spain and Portugal after the Inquisition, eventually coming to America.

Fromm is a museum specialist and folklorist, currently serving as coordinator and assistant professor of museum studies at FIU. She is chair of the Florida Folklife Council and the past president of the International Committee of Museums of Ethnography.

Her talk is part of the Mondays at the Museum series. Admission is $10 for the public, $5 for museum members, free for students with valid ID.

For tickets or information, e-mail the museum at or call 786-972-3175.