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(Sussy) Mata Gallegos. Michael and Sussy met and married in Saltillo, Mexico, where they lived for several years.  It was during this time that they first became aware of the saga of B'nai Anusim. The colonial city of Saltillo is the oldest city in northern Mexico. It was founded in 1577 by the Anusim conquistador Alberto del Canto.  The city was settled by Portuguese and Spanish colonists, many of whom were Anusim Jews. Sussy is a descendant of prominent Anusim settlers, such as Juan Navarro, Baltazar Castaño de Sosa y Diego de Montemayor, who were instrumental in the founding and settlement of Saltillo and Monterrey.

Michael Hendrix and
Azucena Mata Gallegos

Juan Navarro was one of the original settlers of Saltillo. His father, Juan Navarro, was an early conquistador in the Americas. He arrived in Santo Domingo, Hispaniola in 1514. Navarro went to Mexico with Panfilo de Narvaez in 1520 and later joined the Cortes expedition. Juan, the Conquistador, was the great-grandson of Rabbi Moshe Navarro II, Chief Rabbi of Portugal, and the personal physician of King Juan I of Portugal.

Juan Navarro was married to Maria Rodriguez de Sosa, the daughter of Baltazar Castaño de Sosa and Inez Rodríguez de Montemayor. Baltazar was born in Abrantes, Portugal.  He, along with his brother, Gasper, were also among the original settlers of Saltillo. The brothers were Anusim Crypto-Jews, who continued to practice Judaism in secret. Baltazar was married to Inez Rodriguez de Montemayor. She was the daughter of Diego de Montemayor, the founder of Monterrey, Mexico. She was also the cousin of Luis de Carvajal, founder and Governor of the Nuevo Reino de Leon. Governor Carvajal was arrested in 1589 and charged with heresy. In 1591 he died in the Inquisition jail in Mexico City. Later many of the Carvajal family were arrested and charged with practicing Judaism. They were burned at the stake in The Zocalo, the main plaza of Mexico City.

Michael and Sussy became captivated by the story of the journey of B’nai Anusim and the vital role they played in the founding and settlement of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.  As a result, a vision was birthed in them to establish an Institute dedicated to the research and the recounting of the forgotten story of the journey of B’nai Anusim.

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Aqueducts that were part of the Hacienda Santa Ana of Juan Navarro in Saltillo, Mexico.

© 2022 B'nai Anusim Institute

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The Institute

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B’nai Anusim Institute is a 501c3 non- profit organization dedicated to the research, documentation, and recounting of the historical fact of the journey of B’nai Anusim and their impact on the settlement and culture of Mexico and the southwestern United States. 

The founders and directors of B’nai Anusim Institute are Michael Hendrix and Azucena  

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