This website is a purely volunteer effort devoted to sharing information, interest and a sense of connection among Spanish & Portuguese Jewish communities around the world -- also known as Western Sephardim. With their special history, minhag, melodies, and cuisine, it is hoped that S&P and related communities will know more of one another and be able to share their knowledge and love of our mutual traditions. Any suggestions for this site are most welcome! You can reach us on the contact page.
A HISTORY OF THE SPANISH & PORTUGUESE JEWS
Spanish and Portuguese Jews are a distinctive sub-group of Sephardim who have their main ethnic origins within the Jewish communities of the Iberian peninsula (in particular the converso or Marrano groups) and who shaped communities mainly in Western Europe and the Americas from the late 16th century on....Spanish and Portuguese Jews have a distinctive ritual based on that of pre-expulsion Spain, but also influenced by the Spanish-Moroccan rite and the Italian rite. (Read more....)
SOME BOOKS OF INTEREST
An introduction to the tortuous plight faced by exiled conversos in Amsterdam and their methods of response.
Ancient Melodies of the Liturgy of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews by Emanuel Aguilar / D.A. de Sola, Wessel & Co., 1857
Rembrandt's Jews by Steven Nadler, University of Chicago Press, 2003
Describes Rembrandt's life amidst the Jewish community, from whom he may have drawn inspiration.
An Old Faith in the New World by David and Tamar de Sola Pool, Columbia University Press, 1955
History of the first Jewish community in America over 300 years -- from 1654 to 1954.
The Woman who Defied Kings by Andree Aelion Brooks, Paragon House, 2003
Biography of Dona Gracia, a great savior of Spanish & Portuguese Jews, helping many to escape the Inquisition.
The Sephardim of England by Albert M. Hyamson, Methuen & Co., 1951
This is one of the most complete histories of the Jews in England and was published on the 250th anniversary of the Bevis Marks Synagogue.