Exciting new lectures at the Maani Center about lost and hidden Jews
The ‘Maani Center’ of Shavei Israel has been producing non-stop inspiring lectures devoted to various lost and hidden Jewish communities around the world. The latest two, about Bnei Anousim (Conversos) discovering their Jewish roots, and about the hidden Jews of Poland.
The first lecture was given by Esther Astruc, a new immigrant from the United States and a descendant of Bnei Anousim who hid and maintained their Jewish identity for over 500 years. She shared her incredible, personal story of discovering her true heritage. One of the guests of the event wrote the following:
“Firstly, the fascinating Esther Astruc shared her personal story – from midwestern gentile girl to Jew to a woman of French and then Spanish roots. The history of her family, across continents and centuries, was unbelievable and thrilling. In her personal detective story, she uncovered centuries-old mysteries of her family.
After Esther spoke, other Bnei Anusim shared their thrilling journeys of self-discovery. Most everyone wanted to speak and others listened in fascination. They were American, Italian, French, South African, Zimbabwean, Portugese, but they all shared the feeling that they had finally found their identity”. (c)
Here are some pictures from the program:
Also, you are welcome to listen to the recordings of the whole lecture in case you were not able to come personally.
Miriam Synger, Shavei Israel’s emissary in Poland, who’s currently visiting Israel, will deliver the second lecture and speak about the realities of life for post-War Polish Jewry – the descendants of those Jews who were annihilated in the Holocaust or had to hide their identities under the Communist oppression. Amazingly, their grandchildren are discovering their Jewish roots and are eager to play an active role in rebuilding Jewish life in Poland.
On the agenda there is one more lecture about Bnei Anousim with Edith Blaustein, the Vice President of ‘Shavei Israel’, as a speaker. The lecture will be delivered in Spanish to reach more members of this community. Please stay tuned to get more updates!