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BRING ME MORE STORIES: TALES OF THE SEPHARDIM
By Sally Benforado ISBN
0915745674 $22.95 (pbk)
La Mujer Latina Series
 

In these short tales, author Benforado weaves together the oral history of a family of Sephardic Jews, from their close knit home in Turkey to their new lives in America. They are stories of a heritage that spans the globe, of centuries-old traditions transported to a different world, and of people who held tightly to the ways of their ancestors, who, like them, left their homes to settle in a strange new land. Following their exodus from Spain in 1492, Sephardic Jews were not allowed to remain on Spanish territories in North America, such as New Mexico and Colorado. Any Sephardim who chose not to leave, had to convert to Catholicism. Many chose to emigrate and leave Spain, their ancestral land forever. The hardships faced upon leaving Spain were horrific for the Spanish Jews. Paris vividly describes the following: Although some Jews "traveled by donkey," the Jews of Spain, for the most part, literally walked out of their country. These refugees were the "scholars, the sons and daughters of families who had served their monarchs. . . shoemakers, tanners, butchers, the old, the pregnant, [and] the young." Extraordinary weather conditions, in the heat of summer, and the harshness of the land caused many to endure severe suffering. The Sephardim who had so much pride in their achievements could not believe their banishment. Traveling conditions were quite dangerous, especially in unsafe ships. Yet, many chose exile, and as Paris explains, " Those who chose exile were, for the most part, the salt-of-the-earth of Spanish Jewry: the artisans, the tradesmen, and the women—the historical carriers of religious tradition." An extraordinary civilization was lost in Iberia, probably to never again regain its glory.

Bring Me More Stories stands as a living testament to a people born of their Hispanic ancestry, Jewish tradition and immigrant experience.

Gloria Golden, Author of Remnants of Crypto-Jews Among Hispanic Americans.

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