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I was born in Peñuelas , P.R. in 1942. My parents brought me to Paterson, New Jersey in November 1952. Although I was an good student in Puerto Rico, when I came to New Jersey I was placed two grades below what I had been in Puerto Rico.
I studied in Catholic elementary schools and graduated from Don Bosco Technical High School in Paterson 1962. While I worked in factory jobs and later in the college cafeteria, I studied for a General Elementary Bachelor of Arts at what is now William Paterson University. I then went on to Teachers College, Columbia University and completed a Master's degree in Educational Administration. I further earned a Master's degree in Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language from Seton Hall University.
I am very much interested in the Jewish heritage aspect of the history of Puerto Rico. I have a theory that small towns like Peñuelas served as harborers of exiles from Spain who wanted to get away from the Inquisition as far as possible. My reason for this theory is that many of the last names in Peñuelas such as Torres, Mendez, Maldonado,etc. are historically associated with some Jewish people. I share the Torres last name from my mother and Quiñones from both ny mother and father.
I would love to see a preliminary study dealing with just this interest especially from Puerto Rican genealogists.
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