Jewish History in Mexico [] Rotary Club Presentation

  • 07-27-2021

Event Category: Community EventsEvent Tags: charity, community, projects, and service

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    by Dan Lessner and Chris McCaskill

    Join us in this whirlwind tour of 500 years of a Jewish presence in Mexico, from the Conquista to modern times. Dan Lessner, Lay Religious Leader of Kehilla Shalom San Miguel de Allende and founding member of the Comunidad Hebrea En San Miguel de Allende (CHESMA, AC) will be your guide. Buckle up, it will be a brisk ride—from the Spanish Inquisition and autos de fe in the Alameda Park to the “guilded ghettos” of Polanco and Tecamachalco in CDMX—but a fascinating visit nonetheless to learn a bit about the tiny, but quite influential, Mexican Jewish communities.

    Dan Lessner is a modest man and the biography I offer comes exclusively from outside sources—not by him- so I must own any errors. But his story is too intriguing to bypass.  About 15 years ago, Dan Lessner moved to San Miguel from Sag Harbor, New York, where he practiced as a medical doctor. The community initially met at a hotel, but today, San Miguel houses a diverse structure comprised of Canadians, Americans and Mexicans. Together, they practice a variety of customs and rituals in a comfortable, inviting setting.  The group also has sponsored educational programs to be enjoyed by the general public.

    Lessner, in the short time allowed to him during his presentation, will share a fascinating background of how the Mexican government found ways to cooperate for their mutual benefit with the Jewish people who were subject to mistreatment in other countries around the world.

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    Rotary is where neighbors, friends and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders and take action to create lasting change.  For more information, contact President Skip Essick at

    Who We Are…

    We are a multi-cultural English-speaking Rotary Club located in beautiful and historic San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, an UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been named by Conde Nast Traveler as the best city in the world! 
    Our Vision To be a diverse group of active and enthusiastic members who are recognized as providers of valuable services for local and international communities.

    Our Mission To provide assistance to others in order to improve the quality of life and to advance community understanding, goodwill, and peace.


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