This week, at 7 p.m. Friday, New Mexico in Focus (NMiF) presents a companion piece to the national series “The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama,” which premieres 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, March 25 on PBS Ch.5.1. The program will repeat at 5 p.m. Saturday on channel 9.1.
NMiF Producer Megan Kamerick focuses on the experience of “conversos” or “crypto-Jews” in New Mexico.
In 1492, the Edict of Expulsion launched the diaspora of Sephardic Jews from Spain. Many found their way to the New World, including New Mexico, although they could not openly practice their religion.
Dr. Frances Levine, director of the New Mexico History Museum, and historian Roger Martínez-Dávila, flesh out the history of these people and their role in New Mexico heritage and identity.
Sonya Loya, an artisan and educator who has recovered her family’s secret Jewish past, discusses her personal journey and conversion to Judaism. NMIF also features an interview with Dr. Isabelle Medina Sandoval, poet and descendant of crypto-Jews.
NMiF also highlights Sunshine Week, a time to celebrate the laws that give citizens access to their government and the important work of journalists and looks at the push to get more young people enrolled in the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. March 31 marks the end of the enrollment period, under the Affordable Care Act, and enrollment levels in New Mexico are lagging.