JEWISH HISTORY IN EL PASO

By Laura Gronich

Our Beginnings

The history of Jews in El Paso is a colorful one, rich in traditions, culture and contributions.  Jews came here from all parts of the world and other parts of the United States in search of business opportunities and religious tolerance, or they simply chose not to continue farther west or north in their quest for a new life.

To understand the history of Jews in Texas, one also has to know the history of Jews in Mexico.  The Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834) caused the influx of thousands of Jews into Mexico from Spain with many of these Jews traveling to Mexico with the conquistadores. 

In 1545, Jews in Mexico City numbered approximately 1,400.  The Holy Office of the Inquisition began targeting Jews in the 1580s.  Punishment for practicing the Jewish faith included imprisonment, forced penance and even burning at the stake. 

In the 1700s, many of these conversos (Jews who professed to be Catholic converts but practiced Judaism in secret), crossed the border into Texas looking for a life of religious freedom and settled in many of the border regions, including El Paso.

Entry for Jews from other parts of America and other parts of the world started in Galveston, Texas.  The land agents representing the Republic of Texas advertised in the United States and overseas about the promise of fabulous opportunities in Texas.  In 1848, steamship companies based in Germany were selling passage to the port of Galveston, Texas.

 

Pioneer Spirit

Most of the Jews who came to Texas in the early 1800s were merchants or peddlers, But, Jews filled every facet of the population as teachers, politicians, lawyers, landowners and doctors. KEEP READING

EL PASO RANKS NUMBER 5 IN OVERALL WELLBEING AMONG ALL AMERICAN CITIES

 

Wellbeing is about more than safety. It is about a sense of purpose, an environment that helps you succeed in your goals; it is about feeling that you can have a life of fulfillment and satisfaction. And El Paso was selected as the fifth city in America in term of wellbeing! Come and find out why over 500,000 El Pasoans love it here!

 

FOOD IN EL PASO

 

While obviously Mexican food has a strong presence in El Paso, food in El Paso has a lot to offer in variety, quality and pricing not to mention an incredible setting. Check what the Trip Advisor has to say about eating in El Paso.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN EL PASO

 

Cost of Housing in El Paso allows you to get so much more for what you pay! Live in Southwestern style at affordable prices in one of the best places to be. Check the facts here.

EL PASO AND MUSIC

 

El Paso has much to offer when it comes to music. Different styles, first rate performers and many opportunities to enjoy it every month. Check El Paso scene here.

And the annual Sun City Music Festival gives El Paso an international stature!

EL PASO IS THE SAFEST CITY WITH 500,000 OR MORE PEOPLE

 

El Paso is one of the safest cities in America. It has been highlighted as the safest city in the 500,000+ category. This listing takes into account crime rate as well as traffic safety. If you are looking for a place to raise your family and feel that your children are safe…El Paso is the place to be!