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Rembrandt's Sephardim

The expulsion from Spain ended the glory of one of the diaspora’s most prominent Jewish communities. The Conversos stayed in Spain, pretending to convert to Christianity and suffering the Inquisition, while those who left searched for a new home and old freedoms. They found a haven for their bodies, souls, capital and skills in free Amsterdam and created one of the most powerful Jewish communities the world has ever known: pivotal in the downfall of Spain, the readmission of Jews to England, the settling of the New World, and the rise of global Messianism in the 17th century. 

Rembrandt, master of the portrait, lived with them, painted them and played a role in the creation of an interfaith Messianic movement centred on the writings of one of most charismatic Dutch Sephardic Rabbis, Rabbi Menashe ben Israel. The course includes an art appreciation session as well as a visit to an Art Gallery to view its Rembrandt etchings.

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