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A History of the Jews in New Mexico by Henry J. Tobias

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By Henry J. Tobias

During this first heritage of the Jews in New Mexico--from the colonial interval to the current day--the writer regularly ties the Jewish event to the evolution of the societies during which they lived and labored. The ebook starts off with one of many least identified yet such a lot attention-grabbing elements of latest Mexico Jewry--the crypto-Jews who got here north to flee the Mexican Inquisition. within the 19th and 20th centuries, the tale is extra ordinary: German retailers settling in Las Vegas and Santa Fe after which coming to Albuquerque after the railroad arrived. to those debts the writer provides massive nuance and aspect, quite at the position of Jews in smaller groups resembling Roswell and Las Cruces in addition to their social lifestyles and spiritual perform in a frontier sector. The dialogue of the 20 th century concentration really at the dynamics of Jewish improvement, and the ways that that approach differed in New Mexico.

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The same may be said, of course, for any other ethnic distinction that is ignored or not seen. <><><><><><><><><><><><> The history of the Jews, like that of any group, is a complex affair. Moreover, like every group, it has its own unique characteristics. Unlike communities which migrated into frontier areas as distinct, compact masses, like the Mormons, for example, the Jews came as individuals or family members. They made their way within the general population without presenting themselves primarily as Jews.

Various library and archive staffs not only fulfilled my requests for materials, but also provided advice and information I would have missed on my own. The staff at Special Collections of the Zimmerman Library of the University of New Mexico led by Rose Diaz deserves very special mention. So does the State Records Center and Archives at Santa Fe. The American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati opened their rich resources to me with great generosity as did the Baker Library at Harvard University.

When the living are involved, a much broader dialogue becomes possible. People become aware of their own place in time and process and gauge themselves in the context of community, polity, and nation. General as this history of New Mexico's Jews may be compared to the more limited descriptions attempted up to now, it is still a small part of the history of the Southwest, of the United States, or of the history of the Jews or the Jews in the United States. There is, however, an integral and reciprocal relationship between the smaller setting and the larger.

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