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Old 11-08-2008, 06:11 AM
7 posts, read 62,873 times
Reputation: 12



We are a professional family with 3 children under 12 yrs. relocating for a job down to Brownsville Texas. We have spent our whole lives moving around the globe. The following are places we have lived:
Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Canada and USA

In Canada we lived in Toronto, Barrie and Sudbury
In USA we lived in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Naples Florida, Ft Lauderdale FL, Chicago IL, Grand Rapids MI, and of course now Buffalo NY.

So now we are moving to a place we have never even visited before. We have no idea what its like down there. Any information would be greatly appreciated. What I need to know is.....................

From all the places I have lived above, will Brownsville be a culture shock? we dont speak any Spanish although my husbands mothers family is from Mexico. I know he will fit in even though he doesnt speak Spanish.
also, I want to find a big ranch home with 4 bedrooms, hardwood floors, large yard with fence, and lots of trees or view. What will that cost there? and is that even there? also what about schools? my kids have always gone to jewish religious day schools. I know thats going to be an issue now. They do not do well in public school. They will need small classes and more one on one approach. Also, I hate to feel isolated. I dont like driving 15 minutes to get to a supermarket. I like to be around master planned communities, parks and playgrounds, big malls, and entertainment complexes. I love big strip malls and good restaurants to choose from. I love outdoor cafes and festivals and beaches and nightlife. So with that said Iam going to suffer in Brownsville arent I?
I heard McCallen was better but the commute for my hubby to Brownsville would be killer. If I live in the middle like Harlingen then Iam remote again right? shoot....cant win for losing. Any suggestions what this spoiled rotten gal is to do? If anyone knows of cities like Naperville ILL? thats a perfect scenerio for me...or Naples FL. not too big not too small.

Gonna be in Brownsville next week...so gotta do something quick. Need a house right away. Also will be looking for a nice spanish lady to work as our live in nanny....any suggestions? i need allthe help I can get

thanks for all your help in advance
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:46 AM
Location: San Antonio, Texas
3,503 posts, read 19,880,155 times
Reputation: 2771
If you have lived in San Antonio, then you have had a taste of the mix of Mexico and USA culture. Sounds to me like you think your moving to the Mexican desert and culture isolation. You will be pleasantly surprised at Brownsville. It has grown, has new housing and almost all the things you mention as needing or wanting. I do not know about the Jewish community. Take a deep breath and look around when you get there. It's not that bad. They have supermarkets and gas stations. I think you will find Brownsville to be like Naples Florida with a Mexican flavor. Enjoy it.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:50 AM
Location: El Paso, TX
5,080 posts, read 9,948,625 times
Reputation: 1105
Learn Spanish. Yes it will be a culture shock.. take a look at the RGV picture thread and search for the link to Brownsville.. he took some out-standing pictures.. and hey the good news is the Gulf is not far away so BEACH FUN YAY!

Brownsville is not small town.. Also on the main page of this look at all the info for the city. Take note that crime is higher along the border.. lots of drug wars going on now.. so keep an eye out.
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:37 AM
Location: Nashville, TN
189 posts, read 914,633 times
Reputation: 75
While I have not lived in Brownsville for many years, I know of Temple Beth-El. Here is their web site address http://betheltx.tripod.com/index.htm. You may want to call them now.

Sunrise Mall in Brownsville has a Dillard's, Penny's, Sears, etc. There is a movie complex located there.

You won't be far from South Padre Island with lots of places to stay for a fun weekend at the beach. Of course, you can drive over for just a fun day. There are a number of restaurants on the island as well. There are tons of things to do on the island -- take lessons on how to build sand castles, go para-sailing, go out on a fishing trip in the bay or gulf, go dolphin watching, etc. There are music events on the island.

In Brownsville, you have the Gladys Porter Zoo. This is a world class zoological garden and is well known for its success in breeding endangered species. It is also absolutely beautiful. There are lots of activities for children.

If you are in Brownsville before the end of February 2009, Charro Days will give you a flavor of border life. It's an annual pre-Lenten festival celebrating Brownsville and H. Matamoros. H. Matamoros is Brownsville's sister city just across the Rio Grande in Mexico.

Good luck and give Brownsville and the Valley a chance. It can be beautiful.
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:36 AM
Location: Texas
78 posts, read 203,156 times
Reputation: 23
You'll be fine and it will be an experience. Enjoy if you haven't moved in yet! McAllen is only about 35 minutes away from Brownsville. So go check out the downtown area of McAllen.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:36 PM
Location: San Antonio
343 posts, read 1,304,954 times
Reputation: 111
It will be a culture shock. But Brownsville is a great small city. The north side is growing a lot with new homes, stores and businesses. If you last visited lets say 10 years ago, you would be surprised with the change.

The cost of homes is very low and due to the recent down turn in the housing industry you might find a very good home. My cousin built a home that cost her about $90,000, which would cost about $200,000 in San Antonio.

I would suggest that you stay on the north side around Sunrise mall.

And don't but too much into the drug war. It is going on but it's not as bad as sometimes it is portrayed.

I hope you enjoy your move.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:42 PM
12 posts, read 32,817 times
Reputation: 16
It will be a culture shock. Brownsville has 91% Mexicans and Spanish is almost necessary. I lived there for 2 years and 4 months, but I speak, read, and write Spanish fluently (I am a White gal). Everywhere you go, all you will hear is Spanish spoken. Harlingen an McCallen might be better choices for you. What is better for you relationship, you being isolated from a communication gap or your husband commuting from neighboring areas and spending more time driving? Brownsville is a VERY Mexican city. While I lived there I couldn't possibly imagine any NOT knowing Spanish.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:49 PM
Location: Northeast Texas
816 posts, read 1,946,692 times
Reputation: 557
Spanish is a MUST in South Texas.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:30 PM
16 posts, read 62,861 times
Reputation: 14
Default TEXAS MEXICAN SECRET SPANISH JEWS TODAY from Anusim Browsnville, Texas

Dear Jewish visitors to Brownsville,

There are Jewish souls in Brownsville, Texas that are not aware of their past and unexplainable love for Israel, we are the Anusim, and yes we are of Saphardic stock


Jose Luis


by Anne deSola Cardoza
From HaLapid, Summer 1995

Jewish food, oral traditions, culture, and secret religious customs are showing up today in the folklore, habits and practices of the descendants of early settlers in southern Texas and the surrounding areas of Mexico. In northern Mexico and what today is Texas, the Jews of Nuevo Leon and its capital, Monterrey, Mexico, lived without fear of harassment from the Holy Office of the 1640's and beyond. Many of the leading non-Jewish families today of that area are descended from secret Jewish ancestors, according to scholar, Richard G. Santos.
Santos states there are hundreds, if not thousands of descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews living today in San Antonio and throughout South Texas. Not all are aware of their Jewish heritage. Santos is a renowned scholar in ethnic studies of South Texas secret Spanish Jewry. He presented a paper to the Interfaith Institute at the Chapman Graduate Center of Trinity University on secret Sephardic Jewish customs in today's Texas and nearby Mexican areas.
Here’s how we know that many Tex-Mex Hispanics today are of Jewish ancestry. It's a well accepted fact that the founding families of Monterrey and the nearby Mexican border area, "Nuevo Reyno de Leon" are of Sephardic Jewish origin. If we go back to the Diccionario Porrua de Historia Geografia y Biografia, it states that Luis de Carvajal y de a Cucva brought a shipload of Jews to settle his Mexican colony - with some Jews being converts to Catholicism from Judaism and others "openly addicted to their (Jewish) doctrine".
Seymour Liebman, a scholar on Mexican colonial secret Jews, in his book "Jews in New Spain", explained why Jews settled in areas far away from Mexico City in order to escape the long arm of the Inquisition in the sixteenth century.
There's an old, universally known anti-Semitic Mexican joke, a one-liner that says, "la gente de Monterrey son muy judios ... son muy codo". In English it translates, "The people of Monterrey are very Jewish ... very tightwad".
Secret Jews colonized the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Tamualipas and good old Texas, USA in the 1640's-1680s and thereafter. The majority of Texas's Spanish-speaking immigrants came from Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, and Coahuila (the old Neuvo Reyno de Leon) beginning in the 1680s.
Seventeenth century secret Jews who settled in what is today southern Texas, particularly around San Antonio took with them their Jewish foods, particularly what they call "Semitic bread" or pan de semita.

Why do Mexican Americans in Texas and in the Mexican province of nearby Monterrey eat "Semitic bread" on Passover/Lent? According to scholar Richard G. Santos, Tex-Mex pastries such as pan dulce, pan de semita, trenzas, cuernos, pan de hero, and pan de los protestantes (Protestant's bread) are similar to familiar Jewish pastries eaten by Sephardic Jews today in many other parts of the world.
Pan de semita was eaten in pre-inquisition Spain by Jews and Arab Moors. Today, it is popular in Texas and in that part of Mexico bordering Texas. It translates into English as "Semitic bread". It's a Mexican-American custom in the Texas and Tex-Mex border area today to eat pan de semita during Lent which occurs on or around the Jewish Passover.
You bake pan de semita by combining two cups of flour, one half to two-thirds cup of water, a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil, mix and bake unleavened. Even among devout Catholic Mexicans pork lard is never used, that’s why it's called Semitic bread. Pan de semita is really the recipe for secret Jewish Matzoth, and it’s eaten by all Mexicans today in the north Mexican/Texas border area, regardless of religion.
Only in Texas and along, the Texas-Mexican border is a special type of pan de semita baked, according to Dr. Santos, who himself is descended from secret Spanish Jews of the area who’ve lived in that part of Texas and Monterrey since colonial times.
The special pan de semita of the border has special ingredients: only vegetable oil, flour, raisins, pecans and water. The raisins, pecans, and vegetable oil were identified, according to Dr. Santos, as selected ingredients of secret Jews of New Spain.
Take two cups of flour, a cup or less of water, a handful of olive oil and mix with a half cup to two thirds cup each of raisins and pecans. Then you knead and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and easy to chew.
Pastry bakers from Mexico claim this type of pan de semita is unknown in central Mexico. Other pan de semitas are found in Guadalahara made from wheat (Semita de trigo) in which milk is substituted for the water. In Texas and Guadalahara one also finds Semita de aniz (anis). However , semita de trigo and semita de aniz never include raisins and pecans and the use of pork lard is forbidden. Only olive oil or butter can be used to make semitic bread.
In Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Coahuila and among Mexican Americans in Texas two ways of butchering chicken are performed. Chickens can only be slaughtered by either wringing the neck by hand or by taking the head off with only one stroke of a sharp knife and immediately all blood must be removed into a container. The fowl is next plunged into hot water to remove any remaining blood.
This method is the same today as the Crypto-Jews performed in 17th century Mexico as described by Seymour Leibman. The secret Jews of Mexico in the 1640s decapitated chickens and hung them on a clothesline so the blood would drain into a container of water. Then the fowl was soaked in hot water and washed long enough to remove all the blood.
In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, there is a ritual today of using this method of butchering chickens with an added gesture of drawing a cross on the ground and placing the chicken at the center of intersecting lines.
Eating cactus and egg omelets during the Passover/Lent has been a custom of secret Jews of the 17th century and of Mexican Americans from Texas and Northern Mexico today. The omelets are called nopalitos lampreados. The custom is to eat this food only during Lent. Is this an old Passover rite of secret Jews as well? Many add bitter herbs to their foods during Lent. Another influence of Passover? Some do not eat pork on Friday and others do not eat pork after 6 P.M. or sundown on Friday.
Another Lenten/Passover food is “capirotada,” a wheat bread (pilon-cillo) to which raw sugar, cinnamon, cheese, butter pecans, peanuts and raisins are added. These are identical ingredients to those used by secret Spanish Jews in the New Spain of 1640. The ingredients and recipes have been recorded by the Holy Office of the Inquisition and saved to this day in the archives.
Mexican Americans from Texas ate meat on Fridays long before the Catholic Church relaxed the rules which forbid such activity. Older women cover their hands while praying in the same manner as Jewish women cover their heads.
The township of San Fernando de Bexar, today’s San Antonio, was established in 1731 by sixteen families who were descendants of Canary Islanders.
These families intermarried with the local population of nearby Nuevo Reyno de Leon, many of whom were Spanish and Portuguese secret Jews. Though all Mexican Americans of the are not of Sephardic descent, a large number still use the oral traditions which are eminently of Sephardic origin. Historical exposure to and intermarriage with Sephardic secret Jews has occurred in the parts of Mexico that were “safer havens” for secret Jewish settlement. The safest haven was Southern Texas and the surrounding Mexican border area. The Holy Office was not active there in the 17th century.
Today Texans in the San Antonio area are celebrating the secret Jewish origins of some of their foods, culture and oral traditions.

Anne deSola is a full-time author specializing in writing psycho-suspense novels involving Sephardic Jewish subjects or characters and is the author of 33 books, both fiction and non fiction, and filmstrips. She also writes a weekly business opportunities career column for a national newspaper.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:33 PM
16 posts, read 62,861 times
Reputation: 14
Default Anusim returning from Jose Luis Garcia

YouTube - Anusim returning.
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