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A small group of South Americans are eager to affirm their Jewish faith. Their ancestors -Spanish Jews - were forced to convert during the Inquisition. Even after centuries of living in the New World as Catholics and intermarrying, their families still managed to secretly pass down some Jewish traditions from generation to generation. These practices have convinced them that they were originally Jews and fuel their desire to convert.
The Longing, set in Ecuador, tells the story of a group of "conversos" attempting to regain their birthright. Among those featured are three women who traveled 36 hours roundtrip, by bus, from Colombia and a couple from a small Ecuadorian town. On the Internet, they have found an American rabbi from Kansas City committed to helping "lost Jews" throughout the world reclaim their identities. For two years they have studied online, following the rabbi's conversion course to Judaism. Now they are meeting the rabbi in Guayaquil, Ecuador. When the rabbi arrives, he finds the local established Jewish community uncooperative. The congregation is suspicious of the group's claim to their Jewish roots, even locking the Temple doors against these outsiders. Ultimately, the rabbi is able to get several local Jews to reluctantly participate in the conversion.
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