Secret Jews No More


Secret Jews no more

FIU professor tells why some people are returning to Jewry

The Inquisition forced many Spanish and Portuguese Jews to become Catholics. But now, centuries later, many are returning to Judaism, says Professor Abe Lavender of Florida International University.

Lavender, a professor of sociology, will explain his findings at a talk, "Descendants of the Secret Jews of Iberia: Their Current Return to Judaism," at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. He will examine the reasons for this return to Jewry, as well as the issues they face and the hopes they hold.

Lavender is president of the Miami Beach Historical Association and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Crypto Jews. He has written seven books and more than 50 academic articles, most of them about ethnicity, Sephardic Jews and other Judaic issues.

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is at 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. His Jan. 18 lecture is part of the Mondays at the Museum Series. Admission is $10 for the public, $5 for museum members, free for students with ID.

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