The Converso & Latino Connection to Israel

A Joint Event with Jewish National Fund-USA and the Jewish Heritage Alliance

Converso Israel Connection

Join us for a three-part series that explores the converso and Latino connection to Israel. This compelling story of the Sephardic experience begins hundreds of years ago with the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula. This was a profound period of persecution, pogroms, and forced conversions (conversos).  However, it was also a time of hope and survival with many of the converso community seeking to hold on to their Jewish traditions in secret, thus creating the Crypto-Jewish phenomenon wherein many descendants of the conversos are making their way back to their Jewish roots, and some are returning to the land of Israel after more than 500 years in hiding.


Zoom information will be provided upon registration.

Attendees have the option to register for all three parts.

Part One: Rediscovering the Converso & Latino Connection to Israel

Sunday, April 25, 2021

1:00 pm ET


We will explore how present-day outreach efforts are assisting descendants of Sefarad in re-discovering their Jewish roots and embracing their Jewish heritage. Rabbi Peter Tarlow, PhD, a world-renowned expert in the subject of Sefarad, will discuss his outreach to the Latino communities and descendants of the conversos, while Rabbi Gilberto Ventura will provide insight regarding his outreach efforts in assisting converso communities throughout Brazil to re-discover their Jewish roots.

Featured Guest Speakers


Rabbi Peter Tarlow


Rabbi Peter Tarlow, PhD, is the Founder of the Center for Latino–Jewish Relations and Crypto-Jewish Studies, and is a world-renowned expert in the subject of Sefarad. Rabbi Tarlow was the Director and Rabbi of Texas A&M Hillel for thirty years. He has lectured at several universities in Texas on Sephardic history and culture.


Rabbi Gilberto Ventura


Rabbi Gilberto Ventura is the Founder of "Sinagoga Sem Fronteiras" (Synagogue Without Borders). Based in Sao Paulo Brazil, Rabbi Ventura has been assisting Brazil’s Converso communities throughout Brazil with their journey back to their Jewish roots.

Part Two: Recapturing Your Roots

Sunday, May 23, 2021

1:00 pm ET


Get an inside look into the lives of three descendants of conversos who found their way back to their Jewish roots. Hear from Genie Milgrom, Hannah Eyal and Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo as they share their powerful stories of reconnecting with their Jewish heritage and who now exude love of Zion. Their stories underscore the important work of Jewish Heritage Alliance and Jewish National Fund-USA in embracing and supporting the converso communities and their appreciation of their Jewish roots and the land of Israel. 

Featured Guest Speakers


Hannah Eyal


Hannah (once Ana) Eyal is a Portuguese Psychologist whose story, "Back to Israel” is an inspiring sequence of events that reminds every Jew what being Jewish is all about – to own an identity that’s able to survive for generations, one that can be revived even after hundreds of years.


Genie Milgrom


Genie Milgrom is a genealogist, researcher, and promoter of Sefarad. She is a past President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami, as well as the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies. She has spoken at the Knesset in Israel, lectured around the world, and her work has been showcased in many publications, including the Jerusalem Post.


Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo


Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo is an Affiliate Professor of Music and the Director of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Mariachi Ensemble and the Mariachi Correcaminos. In 2009, he was inducted into the Colorado Chicano Music Hall of Fame, and in 2011 he was presented with the Tesoro Cultural Center’s Tesoro de Oro Award.

Part Three: The Importance of Converso and Latino Communities

Sunday, June 13, 2021

1:00 pm ET


Discover the potential impact of the converso phenomenon on Israel and the Jewish People.  We will explore the earliest Sephardic connections to the land of Israel, including the life and times of Doña Gracia Nasi, considered by many to be the first Zionist dating back to the 16th century. We will fast-forward to what life is like in Israel today for Sefarad descendants who have completed the journey back to their Jewish homeland.  Ashley Perry, former Israeli government advisor will discuss current efforts to welcome new Sephardic Olim (new immigrants) to Israel while strengthening their communities for generations to come.

Featured Guest Speaker


Ashley Perry


Ashley Perry (Perez) is President of Reconectar, an organization dedicated to reconnecting descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews with Israel and the Jewish world. He has served as an adviser to Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, and worked in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In Partnership With


More Information

Samuel Richardson, Director, Small Community Outreach

[email protected] or 800.211.1502 x855