VIDEO: Colombian television documentary profiles Bnei Anousim in Bello
Rabbi Eldad Villegas grew up in the city of Bello, Colombia believing he was Christian. By 19 years of age, he was the pastor of a church with 3,000 members. But something didn’t feel right. Were there Jewish roots in his past? After a trip to Israel, Villegas began exploring his identity as part of the Bnei Anousim, Jews who were compelled to convert to Catholicism 500 years ago by the Inquisition. He ultimately converted to Judaism…and was ordained as a rabbi. Today Villegas is back in Colombia where he serves as the rabbi for the Bnei Anousim Jewish community in Bello.
We will have a complete profile of Rabbi Villegas in the coming weeks. In the meantime, he sent us this short video documentary, which appeared on Colombian television. It’s in Spanish, with English subtitles. It gives a good introduction to the community, with interviews of Rabbi Villegas and Bogota Chief Rabbi Alfredo Goldschmidt, as well as footage of the community members praying with tallit and Tefillin, and talking about their own discovery of Jewish roots.
Here’s the link on YouTube.