Please Note: Services at Pardes Yisroel have been suspended until further notice. 6/16/2006


About Jewish New Mexico

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.

Kosher Food

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 hashgachah.
  • 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.
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 San Pedro. 
Contact: 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.

Other Synagogues

    Santa Fe

  • Chabad Jewish Center of Santa Fe  (Chabad Lubavitch), 242 West S. Mateo, (505) 983-2000,  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 the community.
  • Ha 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.
  • Hillel at the University of New Mexico (Non-denominational, Albuquerque)
  • Congregation B'Nai Israel (Conservative, Albuquerque)
  • Congregation Albert (Reform, Albuquerque)
  • Congregation Nahalat Shalom (Jewish Renewal, Albuquerque)
  • Los 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.
  • Temple Beth-El (Reform, Las Cruces). The one, lonely Jewish institution in southern New Mexico

Jewish Service Organizations & Resources

Jewish Internet Resources

Questions or comments?