PROGRAM SESSIONS

1:00 PM

SATURDAY

SESSION 1

1:15 - 2:45 PM

“Did Pancho Villa really try to kill my grandfather? And if so, why?” In unraveling this mystery, filmmaker Stacey Ravel Abarbanel delves into memory, history, and contemporary life in the border town of Columbus, New Mexico, famed for being raided in 1916 by Villa’s army during the Mexican Revolution. While scholars have long debated why Villa attacked the village, one rumor persists: he was angry with Sam Ravel—a Jewish immigrant and local merchant—over an arms deal gone wrong. Broadening the mainstream narratives of both Jewish immigration and the borderlands, UnRavelingreveals an unusual personal history while examining broader sagas about the border region—geopolitics, family, immigration, commerce, and culture—then and now.

 

UnRaveling won Best Mid-Length Documentary at DOC LA 2021 and is presently screening at film festivals and special events nationwide. For the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society, Abarbanel will connect with the conference themes of “discovering Jewish roots in New Mexico; a personal story” and “experiencing Jewish life in rural/small town/borderland New Mexico” as she discusses her research and the process of turning it into an award-winning documentary film.

SESSION 2

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS AND IDENTITY

3:00 - 4:30 PM

Elder and Younger siblings in Search of One Another:  
Jewish-Christian Relations in New Mexico

Presenter: Rabbi Paul Citrin

Teaching Judaism While Jewish in New Mexico

Presenter: Sarah Egelman

Sarah Egelman will share experiences of how Judaism and Jewish identity are perceived by different students in New Mexico and examine ways in which these experiences reflect and illuminate Jewish life in New Mexico more broadly. 

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS AND IDENTITY

Rabbi Leonard A. Helman’s Legacy

Presenter: Noel Pugach, Ph.D.

SUNDAY

9:00 - 11:30 AM
 

SANTA FE IDENTITY

8:45 AM

Using the materials received and cataloged by NMJHS, Dr. Pugach will share material from the vast archive of Rabbi Helman, featuring the “bon vivant” aspects of his multi-faceted life in Santa Fe. 

The Santa Fe Cemetery Project:  Facilitating the Role of Jewish Parent/Grandparent in New Mexico

Presenter: Doris Francis, Ph.D.

SESSION 4

Rabbi Shlachter will share the provenance of three diverse Torah scrolls housed at the Los Alamos Jewish Center as well as the history of several other Torah scrolls around the state. 

4:30 - 5:15 PM

Goldilocks and the Three Torah Scrolls in New Mexico

Presenter: Rabbi Jack Shlachter, Ph.D.

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. RECEPTION/SILENT AUCTION

6:45 p.m. Optional Havdalah Service

7:00 - 8:30 p.m. DINNER

SESSION 3

The innovative Cemetery Legacy Plaque Project at the Rivera Memorial Gardens Cemetery addresses how Jewish adults can meet their sacred obligations including remembrance of the deceased without traveling long distances to other burial grounds.  Dr. Francis will describe the project and its applications beyond the Santa Fe community. 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the Santa Fe Opera

Presenter: Dianne Layden, Ph.D.

SESSION 5

GENEALOGY AND IDENTITY

New World Jewish Ethnicity:  
Migration, History, DNA & Genetics

Presenter: Schelly Talalay Dardashti 

11:45 - 1:00 PM

This program, focused on the New World and New Mexico, unites the threads of history, migration and genetics of Jewish/Sephardic ethnicity.  It also addresses BRCA1 within the region and “ethnicity” as expressed in four major DNA company databases.