Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

A Long Journey: The Hidden Jews Of The Southwest

Stream now or tune in Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Herreras and Rabbi Jordi Gendra. “A Long Journey: The Hidden Jews Of The Sout...

Credit: Courtesy of Cinewest Productions

Above: Herreras and Rabbi Jordi Gendra. “A Long Journey: The Hidden Jews Of The Southwest” brings to life stories of individuals whose secret was their hidden Jewish roots while living an outwardly Catholic life.

“A Long Journey: The Hidden Jews Of The Southwest” is a story of self-awareness, and a celebration of the richness and diversity of Jewish and Latino cultures today.

This one-hour documentary brings to life the fascinating stories of contemporary of individuals whose secret was their hidden Jewish roots while living an outwardly Catholic life.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Cinewest Productions

Herreras family lighting Shabbat candles. “A Long Journey: The Hidden Jews Of The Southwest” brings to life stories of individuals whose secret was their hidden Jewish roots while living an outwardly Catholic life.

Learn about stories of forced expulsion, with journeys to Mexico, Southern Texas and Northern New Mexico; the reawakening of long-obscured Spanish-Jewish traditions, the resilience of faith and culture, and the eventual triumph of acceptance and respect over tyranny and intolerance.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Cinewest Productions

Blanca Carrasco, from El Paso, Texas, conducted her family research resulting in a genealogical book that demonstrated that her biological father, Israel Garza Salinas, was a direct descendant of pioneering Converso families that helped settle the city of Monterrey, Mexico. She’s moved by deep emotion when she reflects on the suffering and torture endured by her family at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition. 

These unique stories are set against magnificent natural and cultural landscapes, accompanied by an original score by acclaimed composer Mark Adler.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Cinewest Productions

Charlie Carrillo is a nationally recognized devotional artist (Santero) specializing in carved Catholic Saints and painted wooden retablos and based in Santa Fe, N.M. While working on his PhD in Anthropology he discovered his Jewish roots and embarked on a journey of self-discovery that led to the incorporation of Jewish themes and iconography in his creative work, which he demonstrates in his studio at the family home in Abiquiu, N.M. His spirituality is expressed as a practicing Catholic, while incorporating ancient Jewish themes in his art work.

A Long Journey: The Hidden Jews Of The Southwest

A one-hour film bringing to life the stories of modern-day New Mexican Catholics whose secret was their hidden Jewish roots. Includes the history of their 400-year journey from Spain through Mexico with persecution by the Inquisition, before finally settling in the Southwest. The physical journeys of these secret Jews ended in colonial times, but their internal journeys continue to this day.

"'A Long Journey' is a story about self-awareness and reaffirmation, and a celebration of the richness and diversity of Jewish and Latino cultures in the American Southwest that I believe all audiences will find engaging,” said director Isaac Artenstein. “The Western frontier, is after all, one of the most influential myths in American culture.” 

Other Cinewest films include: "To the Ends of the Earth," "Challah Rising," "Tijuana Jews" and "Journeys of Harry Crosby"

Credits:

A Cinewest - KNME/NMPBS co-production. Directed by award-winning director Isaac Artenstein. Produced by Paula Amar Schwartz. Executive Producers Melvin J. Schwartz and Franz Joaquim. Co-Produced by Judith Artenstein. Cinematography Sergio Ulloa. Edited and Written by Keith Shapiro.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Every weekday afternoon, we’ll send you our top TV picks so you can hear about upcoming programs and never miss your favorite shows.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.