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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor v. Cardozo

Would Sonia Sotomayor be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice? Or was it Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, whose ancestors evidently were Sephardic Jews from Portugal who emigrated to America in the 1700s?

I have had many long conversations with a variety of newspaper people about whether Cardozo was the first whatever-name-you-want-to-use. It’s all in the context. Many Spanish would deny that Portuguese are Hispanic. Many Jews do not regard themselves as ethnically part of the European country they came from. Many Sephardic Jews probably do regard themselves as ethnically Spanish and Portuguese and Cardozo’s synagogue was and still is known as the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. Many Spanish and Portuguese probably did not regard Jews as part of their culture, and I can understand that many Americans of Mexican heritage would not so regard Cardozo. [Link]

Blaise

Genealogists are not the only ones who want to classify people. We want a tag, something to attach this person to this group. Interesting post! Thank you.

SCHELLY TALALAY DARDASHTI

Sotomayor is listed as a Sephardic Jewish name dating from the 1450s in Spain. It appears in many Sephardic name lists. In the Pre-Inquisition and for a century-plus after, the term "Portuguese" meant "Sephardic Jewish." In 1492, at the Expulsion, thousands of Jews went to Portugal where they thought they would be safe. Unfortunately, just a few years later, they again had to make the choice of convert to Catholicism under force or leave. In many cases, they were forced to convert through the forcible taking of their children. To Sephardim, there is no difference between Spanish and Portuguese.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Tracing the Tribe - The Jewish Genealogy Blog
http://tracingthetribe.blogspot.com

Paul

Benjamin Cardozo is a Portuguese Jew(very rare by the way). Cardozo is a Portuguese name. How he is even considered of being Hispanic, is beyond me. Portugal and Spain are two totally different countries in every aspect. All these two countries have in common are that of neighbors. France also neighbors Spain and i doubt people are confusing the French of being Hispanics. Such ignorance! I am Portuguese/American, and would be furious if someone confused me with being Hispanic.

Chris

Portugal and Spain were both part of ancient Hispania, so in a sense the Portuguese could be considered (historically) "Hispanic." But, you are correct, Portuguese-Americans would not consider themselves "Hispanic."

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