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Did you know?

  • Columbus took Jews with him in hopes they could translate Oriental languages.
  • Jewish births are sometimes listed in local church records.
  • Emma Lazarus, daughter of Sephardic Jews, wrote the famous poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses..."
  • Jews are the oldest group with their national identity and cultural heritage intact.[1]

Ethnic Divisions of Judiasm

  • Ashkenazi Communities of Jews that settled in Central and Eastern Europe. They speak a unique language called Yiddish, which is a mixture of Hebrew and German that originated in the 9th century.
  • Sepharadic Jews who descend from those who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1496 and from Italy 1490 - 1510. Most of these Jews spoke a version of Spanish called Ladino and settled in the Ottoman Empire, Netherlands and the Holy Land.Sepherad means Spain in Ladino.
  • Romaniote Community with distinctive cultural features and who have lived in the territory of Greece, Italy and neighboring areas for more than 2,000 years. They trace their roots from the destruction of Jerusalem. Their languages were Yevanic, a Greek dialect, and modern Greek.
  • Mizrahi Jews descended from local Jewish communities of the Middle East. The term Mizrahi is most commonly used in Israel to refer to Jews who trace their roots back to Muslim-majority countries. Mizrahi and Sepharadic are often inter mingled.
  • Marrano Jews from Spain who converted or were forced to convert to Christianity, some of whom may have continued to practice Judaism in secret. Sometimes called Crypto-Jews
  • Crypto-Jews A term used to describe descendants of Jews who maintain some Jewish traditions of their ancestors while publicly adhering to other faiths.

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  1. Joseph Aaron, "Fun Jewish Facts" in Jewish News Online at (accessed 15 August 2009).


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  • This page was last modified on 16 November 2015, at 20:31.
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