MembersThe Untold Story of the Crypto-Jews

Israel Today met with Dr. Giovanni Malchionda following his participation in a conference on “The Return of the Sepharadic/Anusim Jews to Israel” held in the south of the country.

By Tsvi Sadan |
Photo: Giovanni Malchionda

The aim of this movement is the return to Zion of the Jews of Spain who were forcibly converted to Christianity centuries ago.


Widely known as Marranos, in Hebrew these crypto-Jews are called “Anusim”—those who were violated. The conference concluded with a declaration calling on the Israeli government and religious authorities to consider the biblical Ruth’s commitment that “your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” The Anusim also vowed to “turn our backs on our former national and religious identities” and called upon Israel to “open the gates for us to enter the Land” as Jews.


Israel Today: How were you awakened to your Jewish identity?

Malchionda: I am of double origin: from Jerusalem and Spain. My name Giovanni Malchionda means Yohanan Melekh (John the King). I come from the region of Puglia where the Romans brought some Jewish slaves after they destroyed the Temple [in...

Israel Today Membership

Become a Member

  • Read all member content

    Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel.

  • Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel

    Connect with Israel, right from your home.

  • Lift up the voice of truth and hope

    Support Jerusalem-based Zionist journalism.

Already a member? .