About Reconectar


Overview

Reconectar is Spanish and Portuguese for reconnect.

This project is aimed at facilitating the reconnection of descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities with the Jewish people.

Background

news-1

Around the early part of the last millennium, almost 90% of world Jewry lived in the Iberian Peninsula, a community which led to some of the greatest figures of Jewish history. As a result of forced conversions, expulsions and persecution by The Inquisition, many hundreds of thousands of Jews were brutally and forcibly cut off from their people, many escaping to the Americas.

These Bnei Anusim , (lit. "Children [of the] coerced [converted] Spanish [Jews]), are the contemporary descendants of those Jews who were forcibly converted beginning in the 14th Century. After the forced or coerced conversions of their Sephardic Jewish ancestors, a group of descendants of Jews from Spain and Portugal remained ever since as Crypto-Jews (Jews in secret). They needed to remain in secret because of the gestapo-like presence for the proceeding centuries of The Inquisition which would watch every facet of the Anusim’s life for secret ‘Judaizing’ which would in turn frequently result in unspeakable torture with the possibility of being burnt alive at the stake, sometimes along with other members of the family.

Due to the almost impossibility of escape or flight, the Ansuim had not been able to return to the Jewish people over the last five centuries, although increasing numbers have begun emerging publicly in modern times, especially over the last two decades. Many remarkably still adhere to Jewish customs and traditions which had been retained as family traditions, frequently in secret, like lighting Shabbat candles, not eating bread around Pesach and not mixing meat and milk, to give just three of many examples.

Today’s technology, chiefly, internet, genealogy and DNA advances have generated massive interest in discovering Jewish roots. Many are undertaking simple Google searches which demonstrate that their definitive family customs are indicative of Jewish ties.

Thousands are discovering their Jewish roots all the time and would like to reconnect with the Jewish People.

Our Mission

Reconectar’s mission is to help and assist those who wish to reconnect by giving them the personalized tools do so according to their individual requests and requirements.

We also give organizations, communities and individuals the opportunity to assist in this long-overdue reconnection.

Those who wish to reconnect will be provided with information and support. Registration at the website is a symbolic act and does not constitute any formal recognition by any government, Jewish organizational institutions or rabbinical courts.

About the President of Reconectar

ashley

Ashley Perry (Perez) is from the Spanish and Portuguese (Sephardic) Jewish community. Brought up in London from one of the oldest Jewish families in the UK, Perry made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel in 2001.

He was adviser to Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister from April 2009 until May 2015.

Perry also worked with Israel’s Ministers of Tourism, National Infrastructure and Water, Agriculture, Internal Security, Immigrant Absorption and the Deputy Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, as well as with the Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and in the Prime Minister's Office.


He has also worked as a strategic consultant and public relations adviser to many Israeli, Jewish and international organizations and companies in a host of areas.

He holds a BA Honors in History from University College London (UK) and an MA in Government from the IDC Herzliya (Israel).

Perry is also Director-General of the official Knesset Caucus for the Reconnection with the Descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Communities.