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22 December 2010

The Jews of Mexico

The Jewish history of Mexico begins almost 500 years ago when Hernando Cortes conquered the Aztecs. At the time of his arrival in 1521 he was accompanied by some Conversos Jews, who were forced to convert to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition. Many of these Conversos continued their Jewish practices in secret.

The population of Mexico has had 4 major periods of growth, they are:
  • In the 1860's when Maximillian I invited a large group of German Jews to settle in Mexico.
  • 1880's when Ashkenazic Jews fleeing places such as Russia and Romania arrived in Mexico.
  • After the fall of the Ottoman Empire when Sephardic Jews began arriving from locations such as Turkey, Morocco, and France.
  • Those fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe during World War II.

Today the Jewish population of Mexico is approaching 50,000 people, located mostly in Mexico City, but also places such as Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana. The community in Mexico City is home to over 30 synagogues, most of which are Orthodox.

At this time the first records of the Jews of Mexico are being added to the Knowles Collection and will be available soon.

1 comment:

  1. there is also de congregacion hebrea de baja california under rabbi carlos samuel salas, the founder and supporter of one of the 2 synagogues in tijuana and if you would like some more info go to www.judiosdetijuana.com