Cuban-American Genie Milgrom’s is a small book but a giant story. She is the poster child for countless people, particularly in Spain and in the Americas, who would be able, should they put their minds to it, to trace their ancestry through an unbroken chain of Jewish mothers.

Although the title of the book refers to only 15 grandmothers, by July this year when I met her at the Zamora Sephardi conference in the north of Spain, Milgrom had managed to tack on another eight grandmothers, bringing the total to 23. Her book is a tribute to her ancestors, who all hail from the northern Spanish village of Fermoselle, on the border with Portugal, and lead her all the way back to the 15th century.

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