|he Fourteenth Annual Conference of the New Mexico
Jewish Historical Society will be held at the Sheraton Old Town
Hotel in Albuquerque, November 9-11, 2001. The theme of this
year's Conference will be "Women in New Mexico Jewish History."
Scholars from Colorado and New Mexico will examine the role that
women have played in the development of New Mexico society over
the course of the past four hundred years. The speakers will
treat not only the Jewish pioneer women who came to New Mexico
along the Santa Fe Trail in the mid-1800s, but also the contributions
of crypto-Jewish women, both in the colonial period and in the
The Conference will begin on Friday evening, November 9, with
dinner and a presentation by Eulogiam Carrasco, an Albuquerque
educator, who traces her roots back many generations in the community.
Ms. Carrasco will share her personal
the family's Sephardic Jewish heritage.
The Saturday morning program will feature presentations by scholars
from the University of Colorado and the University of New Mexico
on various aspects of crypto-Jewish society. Dr. Robert Ferry,
of the Department of History of the University of Colorado will
set the context by offering a fascinating paper examining the
role played by Blanca Méndez de Rivera and her daughters
within the converso community in Mexico during the persecutions
of the mid- seventeenth century. He will be followed by historian
Dr. Stanley Hordes, of the University of New Mexico's Latin American
and Iberian Institute, who will examine the life of Doña
Teresa de Aguilera y Roche, the wife of seventeenth-century New
Mexico Governor Bernardo López de Mendizábal, both
of whom were arrested in Santa Fe for secretly practicing Judaism.
Next, Dr. Janet Jacobs, of the University of Colorado will share
the research she has recently published regarding women in late
twentieth- century New Mexico who assert a crypto-Jewish heritage.
On Saturday afternoon, the Conference participants
will be offered an optional tour of the Jewish Community Center
of Greater Albuquerque and the recently-established Albuquerque
Holocaust Museum. Following dinner, a selection of Ladino and
19th-century Jewish music will be presented. The latter originates
from Congregation Montefiore in Las Vegas, the first synagogue
established in New Mexico in 1883. This music was found in the
archives of the NMJHS, in a collection donated by the Nahm family,
of Las Vegas.
On Sunday morning, Albuquerque author and journalist Sharon Niederman
will offer a presentation focusing on the lives of Jewish women
in nineteenth and early-twentieth century New Mexico, based on
diaries, letters and other original accounts of their lives.
This will be
followed by a lecture by folklorist Melanie LaBorwit,
Director of the Las Vegas City Museum, who will relate the life
of Rachel Lowenstein, who came across the Santa Fe Trail in the
mid-nineteenth century and settled in Mora.
The Conference will conclude Sunday afternoon with a lox and
For further information on the Conference, please contact the
New Mexico Jewish Historical Society at (877) 665-3974 (toll-free
voicemail), on the Society's website: www.nmjewishhistory.org.,
or see the form on page 2. Conference participants are urged
to make their own hotel reservations directly by contacting the
Sheraton Old Town Hotel at (505) 843-6300.