| For one of the most sparsely populated
states in the U.S., New Mexico is amazingly rich with Jewish history.
Some Hispanic residents of the state trace their lineage back to the
"conversos," or Jews who converted to Christianity in Spain prior
to or during the Inquisition. A community of predominantly German
Jewish merchants thrived at one time in the state, particularly in
Las Vegas, New Mexico. While the Las Vegas community assimilated away
over the last century, the Jewish cemetery in Las Vegas remains intact.
Santa Fe has also been home to Jews for much of its history. The first
Jewish religious services in the state are said to have taken place
in Santa Fe in 1860. More on the New Mexico Jewish Pioneers can be
found on the website of the Bloom
Southwest Jewish Archives.
Today, there is a substantial Jewish presence in Albuquerque and
Santa Fe, with smaller communities in Rio Rancho, Las Cruces and
Los Alamos. Thanks to these communities, Jewish visitors of every stripe are made to feel quite at home in the state. Here is a
listing of organizations and other services available to New Mexico's
Jewish residents and visitors.
One regular visitor tells us that the supermarkets in Santa Fe
have as much kosher food as in Boston. In fact, several places
have a good selection of products (although no one store seems to
carry a full meal).
- Albertsons, 3001 S. St. Francis Dr., (505) 992-8663.
This store is located near I-25 at the St. Francis exit, and is
usually the best place to look for kosher food, including frozen
Empire poultry. Ask for the location of the kosher section.
- Smiths. This big supermarket on Cerrillos Road at Lujan
has changed hands several times. When Smiths took it over, they
stocked an extensive kosher food section, which has unfortunately
shrunk since then. However, some items still remain in the section,
so it's worth checking out if you plan to be in town a while.
- Kaune Food Town, 511 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 982-2629.
8:30-6:50 PM Mon-Sat. Known as "Kaune's" (but pronounced
"Connie's"), this small, upscale grocery has a good selection
of kosher items scattered throughout the store including (on an
irregular basis) hard cheeses in the dairy section. The staff
is very helpful, just ask them. Their produce is outstanding,
by the way. Nice location in the old part of town, not too far
from Acequia Madre.
- Wild Oats, 1090 St. Francis Drive, (505) 983-5333.
This health food store has a selection of kosher items.
If you eat , you'll be in heaven here.
They also carry a brand of bread called "Rudi's" with a star-K
- Cliff's Packaged Liquor Store 903 Old Pecos Trail, (505)
988-1790. Has a few good kosher wines. Close to Kaune's
in the old part of town.
- Trader Joes operates a store at 530 West Cordova Rd., on
the southeast corner of St. Francis and Cordova, in Santa Fe. They
have an unusually wide
selection of kosher products, including wine,
cheese and poultry.
Albuquerque is only an hour away from Santa Fe down I-25. There
you'll find Malka's
Kosher Emporium located within the premises of the Chabad
House at 4000 San Pedro NE. Rabbi Chaim Schmukler of the Albuquerque
Chabad shul (Chabad
of New Mexico), and his brother Moshe have dramatically improved
the kosher food situation in New Mexico. If you are coming to Santa
Fe via Albuquerque, it's the best source of kosher food in the state,
and the only regular source of glatt meat.
Hours: Sunday 11-3, Tuesday 5:30-7, Thursday 5:30-7.
Directions: from I-25, exit at Montgomery and go east
(towards the mountains) to San Pedro, which is a mile or two down
and has a traffic light. Go right (south) on San Pedro, then a
quick left at the first street. The shul is right there, on the
northeast corner of San Pedro and whatever that little street
is. The food store has its own entrance from the parking lot on
or call via the Chabad shul at (505)880-1181. Check the
web page for the most current information and specials.
The "Mikveh Shoshana" in Albuquerque is by all accounts a triumph
of the genre (jacuzzi, hair dryers, etc.). The mikveh matron
is Rebbetzin Devorah Schmukler, who can be reached at (505) 880-1181
(Chabad of New Mexico).
There is also a mikveh on the grounds of a private home in Santa
Fe,which has fewer amenities. The mikveh matron is Dr. Ya'ara Scher,
who can be reached at (505) 955-1748.
- Chabad Jewish Center of Santa Fe (Chabad
Lubavitch), 242 West S. Mateo, (505) 983-2000, ChabadSantaFe@aol.com.
Rabbi Levertov is the newest Jewish presence in Santa Fe, having
arrived as a shaliach with his wife Devorah Leah in 1996. They
have been good friends to Pardes Yisroel, and a major asset to
Makom (Unaffiliated, Egalitarian). Led by Rabbi Malka Drucker,
this group meets on Shabbat mornings at Ponce de Leon senior residence.
Albuquerque and Rest of New Mexico
- Chabad of
New Mexico (Chabad Lubavitch, Albuquerque). Rabbi
Schmukler's arrival in 1993 provided a nucleus for Orthodox Jews
in Albuquerque after a long dry spell. Services: Friday
night, Shabbos, Sunday. His new building also houses "Malka's
Emporium", purveying Judaica and packaged foods, including meat.
They also operate the beautiful Mikveh Shoshana described above.
at the University of New Mexico (Non-denominational, Albuquerque)
B'Nai Israel (Conservative, Albuquerque)
Albert (Reform, Albuquerque)
Nahalat Shalom (Jewish Renewal, Albuquerque)
Alamos Jewish Center (Los Alamos). Los Alamos is famous as
the home of the Manhattan project during World War II. The LAJC
is the only Jewish place of worship in this tiny but beautifully-situated
town. Rabbi Jack Shlachter serves the needs of a diverse congregation
with individual beliefs ranging from Reform through Orthodox.
The resulting community is active and friendly.
Beth-El (Reform, Las Cruces). The one, lonely Jewish institution
in southern New Mexico
Jewish Service Organizations & Resources
Jewish Internet Resources