ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What are some symbols that conversos etched on their houses as a way of communicating with other Crypto-Jews?
Genie Milgrom was born in Havana, Cuba, into a practicing Roman Catholic family of Spanish ancestry. From a young age, she felt unusually attracted to Judaism. After going through a formal conversion, she began to research her family’s history and was able to document her unbroken maternal lineage going back six centuries to pre-Inquisition Spain and Portugal, proving that she is, in fact, a descendent of forced converts. Her research led her to write the books My 15 Grandmothers, and How I found My 15 Grandmothers, A Step By Step Guide. The books were both winners of the 2015 Latino Author Book Awards.
Genie has travelled extensively to Fermoselle, the village of her ancestors in the Zamora region of Spain, while doing field research on the town’s Jewish past. Her new book, Pyre to Fire, is a captivating historical novel that juxtaposes the story of a Jewish family living in Fermoselle at the time of the Inquisition and her own fascinating autobiography.