I talk with Genie Milgrom, a lady with an extraordinary life story, in this video from The View from Israel. (click on the link below) Her story is typical of thousands of people and is known to us who are engaged in the tale you are about to hear.
I was once asked where the next great wave of Aliyah to Israel is going to come from. Aliyah is the wave of Jews who find shelter and new lives in the Jewish state. My answer is the Secret Jews.The Secret Jews are those Jews who do not yet know they are Jewish.They are the inheritors of those who escaped from, or survived, the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions.This was a tragic time in Jewish history when the Catholic Church went in search of Jews to convert them or to kill them.It was a Holocaust on a global scale as the church reached into Central and South America in pursuit of the Jews.As you will hear briefly in this video, this is the reason I initiated the Knesset Caucus for the Anusim (the Jews of Spain and Portugal).With the development of the internet and social media, thousands of people in the far reaches of our world are questioning strange family customs and are discovering their roots date back to a distant Jewish connection in Europe.Some want to renew their Judaism, and that is not an easy thing to do. Unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism is not a very welcoming religion.For those who do want to return to their Jewish roots but live in locations where there are no Jews for hundreds or thousands of miles, Israel, the Jewish state, is the one place they can feel truly at home. But we have problems in Israel with our Interior Ministry and the Rabbinut failing to ease the way back into the fold for the Anusim Jews, as you will in Genie's personal tale.And those who discover their Jewish heritage, but prefer to remain in their adopted faith, may look with a more sympathy on Israel existing in a threatening and anti-Semitic neighborhood.Genie has written a number of books taken from her life experience, including 'My Fifteen GrandMothers.'If any of you want to know more about your Anusim roots, send me a private message and I will redirect you to where you can receive help.Enjoy this fascinating video! Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy, Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. http://www.cooltv.se/video/my-fifteen-grandmas