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Media Release

Published: 10/21/2009

Eleven-Day Festival in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos Highlights the Jewish Experience in Spanish-Speaking Countries

¡Celébrate! The Jewish Experience in Spanish-Speaking Countries, scheduled November 5 – 15 in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos is a festival of film, music, art, theater, food, exhibits and lectures highlighting the extraordinary historic and contemporary journey of the Jewish people after their expulsion from Spain in 1492.

This 11-day festival in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos is a collaborative effort with New Mexico and international sponsors organized by the New Mexico Anti-Defamation League (ADL) with major funding provided by the Isaac Liberman Foundation.

The Albuquerque opening event is the award-winning Spanish film El Ultimo Sefardí/The Last Sephardic Jew on Thursday, November 5 at 7 pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Bank of America Theatre. This film traces the journey of a young rabbi who searches for his Sephardic roots from Jerusalem to the Caribbean to Spain, looking to keep his culture alive. This film is presented In Ladino with English subtitles. This is a free ticketed event, with tickets available at the NHCC box office or ticketmaster.com.

The Santa Fe opening event is an exhibition of contemporary paintings by internationally acclaimed Mexican-Jewish painter Beatriz Ezban entitled Unified Borders on Saturday, November 7 at 5 pm at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe. This event is free.

¡Celébrate! Festival highlights include:

November 5
Cuisine: Delicious Jewish-Latino Cookery
6 pm – 9 pm, Las Cosas Cooking School, Santa Fe, $75

November 6 – 8
Theatre: Light in My Soul/Una Luz En Mi Alma
A story of crypto-Jews in New Mexico from actual interviews
James A. Little Theatre, Santa Fe, $15 - $20

November 8
Music: Discovering My Jewish Roots Through Music
NM Symphony Conductor Guillermo Figueroa
8 pm, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, $12

November 8
Film: Un Beso a Esta Tierra/A Kiss to This Land
Jews who escaped the Holocaust to Mexico with Mexican Director Daniel Goldberg
3 pm, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, Free

November 10
Exhibit: Voyages to Freedom: 500 Years of Jewish Life in Latin America and the Caribbean
5:30 pm – 7 pm, The Ronald Gardenswartz Jewish Community Center, Albuquerque, Free

November 12
Conference: Unlikely Neighbors? The Jewish Experience in the “New World”
Historical Perspectives of the Jews in Spain, New Mexico, Argentina and Cuba
1 pm – 5 pm, UNM Student Union Building, Albuquerque, Free

November 12
Film: Adio Kerida
Finding Jewish roots in Cuba with filmmaker Ruth Behar
7 pm, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, Free

November 13
Service: Sephardic Sabbath Service in Hebrew, Ladino, Spanish and English
8 pm, Congregation Nahalat Shalom, Albuquerque, Free

November 13-14
Theatre: Light in My Soul/Una Luz En Mi Alma
Taos Center for the Arts, Taos, $18/$15

November 14
Music: The Sarah Aroeste Band: Contemporary Sephardic Music
8 pm, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, $10 - $15

November 15
Lecture: The Jewish Experience in Latin America with Ilan Stavans
1 pm, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe Free with museum admission
4 pm, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque. Lecture is free, $10 for post-lecture tapas and wine reception

New Mexico ADL Director Susan Seligman, who organized the effort states, “I am thrilled with the depth and scope of ¡Celébrate! and the incredible collaborations that came together to make this happen. This is not just a Jewish event, this is not just a Hispanic event, but a community event about discovering one’s roots and how those roots shape our lives and cultures today.”

Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center notes, “The Hispanic world as well as New Mexico and its people are the heirs of a unique, complex and intricately woven past, the depth and breadth of which has only begun to be measured. Woven into this story is the Jewish experience. The National Hispanic Cultural Center is honored to be a part of this exciting commemoration.”

Partners who have made this program possible include: The Mexican Consulate, The Mexican Foreign Ministry, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the Instituto Cervantes, Casa Sefarad-Israel, The Latin American and Iberian Institute at UNM, The New Mexico History Museum, El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Hotel Santa Fe, The Ronald Gardenswartz Jewish Community Center, The Israeli Consulate, Congregation Nahalat Shalom, the Sokolove/Singer/Buchwald families, The Jewish Arts and Culture Group of Santa Fe, Working Classroom, The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society and the New Mexico Symphony.

For further information on these events please visit www.adl.org/celebratefestival

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