In Jerusalem

Secrets beneath the surface

AACI and the Israel Genealogy Research Association present the author of ‘My 15 Grandmothers,’ – a Cuban- American on a cryptic journey.

Discovered on the wall of a church a cross is similar to those found in former Jewish quarters.
Photo by: GENIE MILGROM
I have been able to trace 22 grandmothers and great-grandmothers in an unbroken maternal lineage going all the way back to 1410. I was also able to successfully prove that my family had been converso Jews from before the Spanish Inquisition, living on both sides of the Duero River, which separates Spain from Portugal. My Jewish lineage was traced back to a small village called Fermoselle in the province of Zamora, Spain, where my family had lived for 521 years. In fact, my grandfather was the first one to leave the village. The village still exists, perched high above the granite hills of the Duero River across from Mogadouro in Portugal.

I was born in Havana, Cuba, into a Roman Catholic familyof Spanish origins. When I was five years old, my family left the island and moved to Miami. We were just one of thousands of families that went to Miami in 1960, leaving behind not only the Communist Revolution but also their homes and businesses. I was raised in Catholic schools, with grade school, high school and college all being in the strict ambience of the church with priests and nuns and all the Catholic doctrine.



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