Page 174 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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ish origins, documents relating to the denunciation of suspected
judaizers, and efforts by the descendents of those prosecuted by the
Inquisition to avoid the legal and social stigmas that followed. In­
terestingly, in Argentina, where so much contemporaryJewish his­
tory has transpired, the panel on the contemporary communities
confined itself to analysis of musical and literary expressions.23
Collectively, these conferences provided occasions for creative
minds to reflect on the legacy of 1492 for the Americas from a Jew­
ish perspective. It is to be presumed that greater reflection took
place among participants than were actually reported in print.
More typical of Judeo-centric conferences, however, was “Jews
and Judeoconverts of Spain: The Expulsion of 1492 and its Conse­
quences,” sponsored by a group of New York City academic insti­
tutions (Brooklyn College, Yeshiva University, Queens College,
City College, and Columbia University) under the direction ofAn­
gel Alcala, at which just one paper out of thirty-nine touched on a
New World topic (cryptojudaism in Portugal and Brazil).
A variety of excellent exhibits were prepared for public display
during 1992, especially on cartography, the exchange of plants and
viruses, and the routes of the conquistadors. No Jewish or converso
presence could be detected here, although Jewish and converso
cartographers and astronomers were crucial to the initial voyages
of discovery. “Convivencia: Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Me­
dieval Spain,”was the subject of an exhibition mounted by the Jew­
ish Museum of New York; naturally, its range did not extend to
Latin America.24 Exhibits and videotapes of abandoned Jewish
quarters in Spain were popular, but just one exhibition focused on
Latin American Jewry. Organized by the Jarkow Institute for Latin
American Affairs of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith,
“Voyages to Freedom: 500 Years of Jewish Life in Latin America
and the Caribbean” was organized by Rabbi Morton Rosenthal,
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23. Some reflections on this subject will be found in Judith Laikin Elkin,
“Centaur on the Roof: Can a Neo-Sephardic Culture Emerge in Latin America?”
13:2 (Winter 1995): 1 -15 .
24. A magnificent catalog of the exhibition was published by George Bra-
ziller, 1992.