Org.: Centro de História da Universidade de Lisboa - Fundação Oriente Museu - Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Jews of Goa are a little known community of the past whose unique story is rarely told. While the Jews of Goa have scarcely been mentioned in academic works, or by the Indian government, the history of the Jews of Goa is both rich and interesting.
This conference features the Jews of Goa, who resided at the site of Portuguese control of India during the colonial period. In 1534, Vasco da Gama succeeded in becoming the Viceroy of Portuguese India. Some of his advisors in India were Jewish. In 1560, the Inquisition was officially instituted in Goa.
The conference relates to early history, but pays special attention to the ways in which Jews were affected by the Inquisition. Some Jews became conversos, New Christians, or Marranos, all terms used to refer to those who converted to Christianity (sometimes as a result of coercion or force). Despite the imposed disavowal of religion, many in the community continued to practice Judaism and keep recognizable traditions and beliefs alive for generations. For these reasons and more, they deserve to be remembered and commemorated for the ways in which they enhance our understanding of the history of Portugal and the story of Jews around the globe.