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First Mexican-indian Enrolls at N. Y. Seminary to Study for Rabbinate

A 13-year-old son of a Mexican Indian factory worker has been enrolled at Torah Vodaath of Brooklyn, a traditional Jewish seminary, as the first Indian Jew to undertake study for the rabbinate, officials of the institution revealed today.

Shimon Ben Abraham De La Vega Carbajal of Mexico City is the son of a convert to Judaism and a mother who is a descendant of the Marranos. He was sent to the seminary by his grandfather on his mother’s side, Jose Carbajal, who has dedicated his life to bringing back to the Jewish faith Indian families intermarried with Marranos. Torah Vodaath officials said that the grandfather, who is now 75, fears that his efforts will soon come to an end and therefore arranged for his grandson to come to the Brooklyn seminary.

The boy is attending a special class to extend his background in Talmudics. He is also studying English and Yiddish, as well as Hebrew, the basic languages at the seminary. There are at least two colonies of such intermarried families in Mexico City, the seminary officials said, adding that the grandfather has brought back to Judaism 18 families. There are an estimated 100 such families in the two colonies in Mexico City, the officials stated.