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The Sephardim (from Spain & Portugal)
The Inquisition was established in Spain in 1481. In March 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella issued the Edict of Expulsion, expelling all Jews from Spain. By July 31, 1492, Jews (who wished to remain Jews) were forced to flee.

Many Spanish Jews fled to Portugal. A few years later, Portugal also expelled her Jews, and Iberian Jews (again, who wished to remain Jews) fled to three corners of the earth.
Columbus had, by then, voyaged to the New World. The fourth corner of the earth began to open up
Spanish colonization of Mexico began about 1520 - and Mexico appeared a logical place to flee. But in 1571, when the Inquisition set itself up in Mexico City, the Sephardim fled as far as they could go and still speak Spanish - to New Mexico, the final frontier, the last outpost of Iberian civilization in the New World.
What happened next? Click here to find out more about Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Judaism!

The Ashkenazim (from Germany & Western Europe)
The Ashkenazim literally set up shop in New Mexico. Initially, the big Jewish center of commerce was Las Vegas. No, not that one - the original Las Vegas, about 66 miles east of Santa Fe. Congregation Montefiore was established there; its cemetery was one of the first Jewish cemeteries west of the Mississippi. Santa Fe, too, was a center of Jewish commerce.

The Anglos (from Russia & Eastern Europe)
Some Ashkenazim stayed, and some Ashkenazim left - mostly, to find young Jews for their children to marry. The railroad, the airport, and Route 66 all bypassed Las Vegas and Santa Fe. After World War II, the Anglos - all of us - arrived, and most of us went to Albuquerque.

Albuquerque (and everyplace else in New Mexico) has a large community of Crypto-Jews - descendants of Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition.

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