Proof of Sephardic Heritage
The Spanish government requires proof of Sephardic heritage. Individuals whose families maintained Judaism throughout the centuries need to show proof of coming from a known Sephardi community, through membership in a Sephardi synagogue, ketubot, official documentation like census, passport or immigration records, genealogical evidence, etc.
Applicants whose families became crypto-Jews need to show a genealogy to a known Jewish individual or to one who was persecuted by the Inquisition.
If that is too difficult to procure, a name report from a highly-qualified genealogist or historian may be accepted in place of a genealogy, but additional proof will be needed as well. Individuals can prepare their own well-documented name reports if they are based on archival work and scholarly sources, and are fully referenced.
If submitting name reports, individuals should also include additional proof of Sephardic heritage. This may include verified personal narratives from elders, oral history or multi-generational family customs or as much genealogical and Jewish communal documentation as exists. This is particularly helpful when full accounts do not exist due to natural disasters, wars, and the Holocaust.
Documents can be presented to JFNM in Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, Hebrew and Arabic without translation. Other languages may need to have a translation attached. (As we have a linguist on staff, please write to Spain@JewishNewMexico.org for questions about additional languages.)
New Mexican Families
For individuals whose ancestors have lived in New Mexico for centuries and do not have family records, we recommend the help of genealogist Dennis Maez. His database contains approximately 300,000 individuals. Applicants will need to provide four to five generations of family history to get started. His service costs $300, and he may be able to go back 25 generations.
If you aren’t sure you have sufficient proof to qualify for Spanish citizenship, please send an email to Spain@JewishNewMexico.org with details about your family history and heritage so that Dr. Koplik and her staff can make an appropriate referral. Please include as many family names and places as known.