This New York Times investigative article describes the typical, personal journeys embarked upon by hidden Jews, or "crypto-Jews", in the Southwest of the USA. Journalist Simon Romero describes the different aspects of the awakening process; from first identifying bizarre family practices as Jewish traditions, onwards to genealogical and historical research revealing Sephardic, or Marrano, ancestry. He explains why more and more people are taking advantage of modern scientific DNA testing that can support the evidence indicating their Jewish ancestry.
What particularly grabbed our attention in this piece that was first published in 2005, is the scope of emotions that discovering Jewish roots is arousing. Although not all the descendants of the Marranos, or the "Conversos", undertake full-blown conversion to Judaism, the descendants of the crypto-Jews interviewed in this article all have one thing in common; they are unable to remain indifferent to their Jewish roots and yearn to learn more about their Jewish heritage.