Join me in helping revive Jewish life on a Mediterranean island after 600 years of persecution

$22,748   raised
GOAL: $30,000

25 days to go

108

 Donors

Support this cause and make a difference

Your donation is tax deductible!

All donations to this charitable cause are collected by Jewcer, and donations exceeding the fair-market value of goods/services received are qualified under Section 501(c)(3) as tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Help Us Film A Documentary Uncovering The Silenced Roots of Majorcan Jewry

The History

Our film will explore the fascinating legacy of the Chuetas: a unique group of families on the Balearic island of Majorca who are believed to be descendants of the island’s Inquisition-era Jewish population.

Historians believe the Chuetas were forced to renounce their Judaism by the Catholic Church at the beginning of the 15th century in the years leading up to the Majorcan Inquisition.

These families were given the choice to either convert to Catholicism or face certain murder.

They were not offered exile.

Although most officially converted and functionally “eliminated” Jewish life in Majorca, many continued to practice their Judaism in secret. In the year 1688 a group was caught trying to escape the island via boat to Livorno and were then publicly executed in the famous Autos De Fe of 1691. Their family names were hung in a famous Convent on display for all to see until the year 1820 when the Convent was destroyed. Though they were practicing Catholics, they were discriminated against up until the middle of the 20th century, always being forced to marry within their subgroup population. It is estimated that there are currently roughly 20,000 “Chuetas” living on the island today.

The Present

Current-day Majorca presents a compelling case study for silenced Judaism. Practicing Catholic families cite Jewish “traditions” that date back centuries, without ever being openly acknowledged or explained.

Our story will follow Dani Rotstein, a Jewish-American expat who moved to the island in 2014 and quickly became fascinated with the story. Rotstein currently works as a social activist & guide on the island, where he uses discoveries from his ongoing investigation to give added context to the winding streets of the Jewish quarter.

The Future

Despite its traumatic past, Majorca is experiencing an exciting Jewish revival, with a few returned Chuetas and young expat families at the helm. The last 30 years on the island saw Jewish life largely center around its sole synagogue – a traditional congregation founded by British-Ashkenazi expats in 1987.

Rotstein seeks to breathe new life into the community. He regularly organizes raucous Shabbat dinners and established Majorca’s very own “Limmud” chapter – an educational organization that aims to spread Jewish culture and history throughout the world.

Our documentary intends to explore the current sensibilities of the Chuetas – both those who have opted to officially convert or rather “return” to Judaism (about 15 cases) and those who simply claim their family legacy.

In addition, we’ll pose some interesting questions about how Chuetas are perceived by the current Jewish population. Though the community bears some heavy scars from its tragic history, we hope that by harnessing the past we can continue building a robust Jewish identity on the island.

Why Donate?

As the Jewish High Holidays approach, the community is at a crossroads to see if they can remain as one community celebrating their varied different customs and backgrounds or faction off into small groups within the larger whole. To capture this watershed moment, Rotstein has joined forces with journalist Ofer Laszewicki and cameraman Felipe Wolokita (both residing in Israel), who will land on the island to film and edit a documentary that aims to order all the pieces of this puzzle.

Your contributions will be vital to defray the production costs of the documentary, and we look forward to you getting involved with a donation. We will put in all of our effort and enthusiasm, because we believe from the heart that this will mark a before and after.

Join and be part of the Jewish future in Majorca!

“Chuetas Documentary” is being spearheaded by a member of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation network and has been awarded a matching grant. Schusterman is a global organization that seeks to ignite the passion and unleash the power in young people to create positive change for themselves, the Jewish community and the broader world. Learn more about the Foundation here @ https://www.schusterman.org/.

Support this cause and make a difference

Your donation is tax deductible!

All donations to this charitable cause are collected by Jewcer, and donations exceeding the fair-market value of goods/services received are qualified under Section 501(c)(3) as tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

More Ways to Learn About this Cause

  • October 5, 2019 4:04 am

    WE ARE ALMOST THERE!

    Shana Tova and Happy New Year!

    After touching down in Majorca, our Israeli filmmakers witnessed firsthand the state of the Chueta community. Even after many centuries, the consequences of persecution and anti-Semitism are still very much visible.

    We spent ten consecutive days filming throughout the island – from the Jewish Quarter of Palma to the beach and mountain towns of Alcudia, Sóller, Inca & Valldemossa.

    We interviewed diverse members of the Jewish community, documenting various cultural events in the weeks leading up to the Jewish High Holidays.

    Throughout our filming, we uncovered as many questions as we did answers. There was a tangible reluctance to openly acknowledge the island’s hateful past. It seems that wounds on both sides have yet to fully heal.

    But we did not set out to merely film a historical documentary; our goal was to also capture the present– particularly the dilemmas facing the community in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

    Due to the international and ‘expat’ nature of the nearly 1,000 Jews on the island, there are many conflicting identities, upbringings and perceptions of Judaism.

    The Jews on the island often debates how the community should look, who should be allowed to practice, and which traditions should be preserved.

    But there is also an undeniable bond: one of resilience and pride. This is a community of people eager to reclaim their Judaism without bowing their heads.

    All this is to say: We need one last push to finish this story with the care and attention it deserves. While the initial campaign managed to offset the costs of filming, our goal is to now cover high quality post production and editing. We believe these finishing touches will make for a more nuanced and ultimately more compelling film.

    We’re so grateful for your past contributions, and we hope you’ll consider giving just a bit more.

    With your help, we can finish telling this story the way it was meant to be told.

  • September 6, 2019 12:53 am

    We DID it! We have raised initial funds to get the documentary filming off the ground! Thank YOU ALL so very much for wanting to be a part of this exciting project. We have purchased travel arrangements for Ofer and Felipe to come from Israel to begin the principal photography of the documentary. Our shooting week in Mallorca will be from Sept 21-Oct 1 – the week leading up to Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year.

    As these initial costs only help defray the total costs of the project we are not done yet. Please continue to share this link and invite others to participate as well. The more people involved the better! Do you know someone who would like to learn about the hidden history of the Chueta people of Majorca? Do you know others who want to be a part of the Jewish revival happening today in Spain?

    We look forward to updating you as our project evolves. Thank you for your support.

    Dani, Ofer, and Felipe

  • August 23, 2019 8:17 am

    “Chuetas Documentary” is being spearheaded by a member of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation network and has been awarded a matching grant. Schusterman is a global organization that seeks to ignite the passion and unleash the power in young people to create positive change for themselves, the Jewish community and the broader world. Learn more about the Foundation here – https://www.schusterman.org/.

2019-10-21
Andrew L Casden
$400
"Wishing you the best of success with this and all endeavors! Next year in Majorca!!"
2019-10-18
Rafalicious
2019-10-18
Noah and Jessica Kimmel
$36
2019-10-17
Anonymous donor
2019-10-16
Stephanie Brahams
$72
"In memory of Lily and Victor Scott"
2019-10-16
J. Carlos Jarillo
$200
2019-10-15
Cameron Kadison
$72
2019-10-15
Dan Zuckerman and Suset Laboy
$180
2019-10-14
Jewish Majorca
$36
"What an incredible mitzvah you are doing. Chag sameach, Arnie and Ruti"
2019-10-14
Anonymous donor
2019-10-14
Ed Pacheco Richter
"Good luck, Dani!"
2019-10-14
Anonymous donor
$100
2019-10-14
Anonymous donor
$36
2019-10-13
Anonymous donor
2019-10-13
Mr. & Mrs. Guy Slama
2019-10-13
Anonymous donor
"We can't wait to see the film!!"
2019-10-12
Sharon & Richard Pierce
2019-10-11
Michael Goecken
$72
2019-10-11
Anonymous donor
$18
2019-10-11
Alex Ruth Keisner
2019-10-10
Audrey and Ira Wise
$136
"So excited for the film! We had an amazing tour in Palma with Dani!"
2019-10-10
Raquel and Richard Perlman
$360
2019-10-10
Anonymous donor
$136
2019-10-10
Ian Isanberg aka Ian Ian
$36
"I’m very glad to be contributing. Go Dani!"
2019-10-10
Anonymous donor
2019-10-09
Susan & David Heiblum
"With thanks to Dani for bringing the Jewish history of Palms d Majorca come alive and for his efforts to renew the community."
2019-10-09
Ivria & Daniel Sisson
$118
"Thank you Dani and everyone who has helped uncover and bring back to life the hidden history of my ancestors!"
2019-10-08
Anonymous donor
"To the reawakening and embracing by the Chuetas of their rich Jewish legacy so cruelly stolen from them by the Inquisition."
2019-10-08
Michael Belitzky
$72
2019-10-07
Sylvia and Alan Le Vine
"We support this worthy cause and wish Dani Rotstein Kol Hakavod on the completion of his documentary about the Xuetas of Majorca."
2019-10-07
Kelly Blake
$36
2019-10-07
Anonymous donor
2019-10-07
Lily and Jose
"Amazing project! Can’t wait to see the finished film!"
2019-10-07
Anonymous donor
"Shana Tova!"
2019-10-06
Anonymous donor
2019-10-06
Becky & Etan Ofrane
"Proud of you and Carla!"
2019-10-06
Mark Segal
"Dani- good luck- this story has been waiting for many, many years for you to tell it and shape it."
2019-10-06
Noa Noy Laszewicki
$180
2019-10-05
Anonymous donor
2019-10-05
Jennifer C. Maul
2019-10-05
Stephen Rockower, MD
$50
"IHO Dani"
2019-10-05
Nicole Szulc
"Good luck with the project!"
2019-10-05
Marlee Goldstein
"Such amazing work, Dani! Excited to see the final product"
2019-09-25
Anonymous donor
2019-09-21
Louise & Veda Coffing
$72
2019-09-19
Jo Black and Nick Young
$500
"What a great idea...a wonderful and valuable undertaking! Good luck"
2019-09-09
Anonymous donor
2019-09-09
Jeremy Kramer
"Congratulations! What a great cause!"
2019-09-06
Anonymous donor
2019-09-04
Anonymous donor
$100
2019-09-03
Juaquin Agustin Andres Eloy Moya
$100
2019-09-03
Jenna and Jonathan Schilit
2019-09-03
Anonymous donor
$50
2019-09-03
Anonymous donor
2019-09-03
Benji Lovitt
2019-09-02
Anonymous donor
$40
2019-08-30
Nicole Szulc
2019-08-30
Claire Ludski
$100
"proud to be associated...great work Dani"
2019-08-30
Anonymous donor
2019-08-29
Michael L Belitzky
2019-08-29
Michael Boher
$72
"Wishing you loads of success with your campaign"
2019-08-29
Sandy Fox
2019-08-29
La Kaza Muestra
$7000
"Vivan los xuetes!!"
2019-08-29
Marcy & Moty Shub
"For Dani, Carla and Oren"
2019-08-29
David Lurey
$36
2019-08-28
Rochel and Len David
2019-08-28
Alice & Randy Noble
2019-08-28
Anonymous donor
2019-08-27
Anonymous donor
2019-08-27
Josh Ofrane
$108
2019-08-27
Anonymous donor
$100
2019-08-27
Anonymous donor
2019-08-27
Anonymous donor
"Dani, thanks for great walking tour last Sunday. Best, Gerry & Caroline"
2019-08-27
Shai and Alli Korman
$36
2019-08-27
Nicolas Wambolt
$72
2019-08-27
Anonymous donor
$36
"בהצלחה רבה - שנעלה ונצליח!"
2019-08-26
Jodie Gordon
$36
"Dani-- This is amazing! Good luck!"
2019-08-26
Jonathan Strauss
"good luck bud!"
2019-08-25
Rabbi Leana Moritt & Rabbi Steven Kushner
$36
"B'hatzlacha!"
2019-08-25
Anonymous donor
2019-08-24
Anonymous donor
2019-08-23
Adam Rotstein
$36
"Chuetas know betta!"
2019-08-23
Paola gonzalez
2019-08-22
Anonymous donor
2019-08-22
Daniel wolokita
$72
2019-08-22
Anonymous donor
2019-08-22
Noa Noy Laszewicki
"Good work and good luck to the team"
2019-08-22
Anonymous donor
2019-08-21
Paul Rockower
$36
"Yasher Koach!"
2019-08-21
Anonymous donor
2019-08-21
Anonymous donor
2019-08-21
Gabriel Cohen-Henriquez
2019-08-21
Kroo
"Great job!"
2019-08-21
Lucía Conte Aguilar
2019-08-21
Amir Vonsover
2019-08-20
Andy, Jes & Bernie Pepe-Tider
$250
2019-08-20
Stan and Elaine Browman
2019-08-20
Rocco Candido Bertolini & Family
$100
"Let's Go!"
2019-08-20
In honor of Yochi Simon
$72
2019-08-20
Anonymous donor
2019-08-20
Anonymous donor
2019-08-19
Eyal Dror
"Can’t wait to see this documentary made and beyond!"
2019-08-19
Moshe & Evie
"So excited this is happening!"
2019-08-19
Anonymous donor
"Absolutely a great contribution to the history of Judaism outside the Israel. Important to build from here and recreate a great community in Majorca."
2019-08-19
Anonymous donor
"To preserve what keeps us separated from other animals - knowledge"
2019-08-19
Anonymous donor
"anonymous"
2019-08-19
Susan E Davis
2019-08-18
Scott & Annie Austin
"Congrats on the beautiful work you are doing Dani!"

This campaign deals with:

Education & Youth | Film & Music | Jewish Communities

Join me in helping revive Jewish life on a Mediterranean island after 600 years of persecution

$22,748   raised
GOAL: $30,000

25 days to go

108

 Donors

Campaign organizer profile img
Campaign by
Dani Rotstein
, Spain

Dani, a New Jersey native, moved to the island of Mallorca in 2014 where he discovered the taboo history of the Chuetas. He became involved with the local synagogue & began focusing on community rebuilding. In 2018, together with his wife Carla, they founded Limud Mallorca & have run over 10 successful events promoting diversity & inclusion in the small yet growing community. He was elected to sit on the synagogue board and recently founded “Jewish Majorca” which offers guided visits to Jewish Heritage sites around the island & sheds light on Mallorca’s little known Jewish past & present to visitors & residents alike. He believes that the revival of modern Jewish life in Spain can show that greater awareness & tolerance can be achieved throughout Europe & the world.

  • The ignition
    25 claimed

    Your contribution is vital to start reliving Jewish life in Mallorca. Your name will appear in the documentary acknowledgments list.

  • The Return
    25 claimed

    Your contribution will help to make visible the emergence of Jewish life in Mallorca. Your name will appear in the documentary's thanks list with a special mention.

  • The Certificate
    8 claimed

    With your contribution you will receive a special personalized personal certificate as a contributor to the documentary.

  • Leaving Footprints
    6 claimed

    Leave your mark at this crucial moment. Send us a portrait and we will include it in the special donations section of the documentary.

  • VIP Donor
    0 claimed

    With your contribution you will be considered a special donor of the documentary.

  • Associate Producer
    2 claimed

    With your contribution you will be enrolled in the credits as Associate Producer.

  • Executive Producer
    1 claimed

    You will be remembered as one of the main people responsible for helping to revive Jewish life in Mallorca. You will appear as the Executive Producer of the documentary.

  • Don't see the amount you want to donate? Every contribution helps!

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