On Tuesday, 13 October 2015, the first ever official Knesset Caucus for the Reconnection with the Descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Communities (otherwise known as Bnei Anusim, Marranos and Conversos) will be held.
Patio of the Inquisition – Portugal
As a result of forced conversions, expulsions and persecution by the Inquisition during the 14th and 15th centuries, many hundreds of thousands of Jews were brutally and forcibly cut off from their people, many escaping to the Americas.
Today, it has been conservatively estimated through academic research and DNA testing that there are many tens of millions of the descendants of Jewish communities of Spain and Portugal around the globe, mostly in North and South America and Europe.
Modern technology, Internet, and genealogy and DNA advances have generated massive interest in discovering hidden Jewish roots and millions are seeking solutions.
The Caucus will be chaired by MK Robert Ilatov and will hold discussions on the role of the State of Israel and world Jewry in reconnecting with these descendants. Political, diplomatic, academic, religious and Jewish organizational leaders and representatives will take part in and speak at this historic meeting. Many of the descendants themselves are travelling from around the world to participate in this unprecedented event.