Brazil honors Jewish historian for her Inquisition research

Marcy Oster

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – Jewish historian Anita Novinsky, 94, was nominated for the “Woman Science Pioneers” award by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development for her longtime academic and field research about Inquisition.

Recognized as Brazil’s most prominent specialist in Brazilian and Portuguese Marranos, or hidden Jews who practiced Judaism secretly at home and pretended to be fervently Catholic while out in public, Novinsky became one of 70 Brazilians to receive the honor so far.

Anita Novinsky was born in Poland but naturalized as a Brazilian citizen. Author of several books, she is founder and chairwoman of the University of São Paulo’s Laboratory of Studies on Intolerance.

Launched in 2013, the “Woman Science Pioneers” project aims at highlighting the stories of women who have contributed to the advancement of science, research and technology in Brazil and can inspire youths to pursue a scientific career.

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The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, or CNPq, is an organization of the Brazilian federal government under the Ministry of Science and Technology, dedicated to the promotion of scientific and technological research and to the formation of human resources for research in the country.

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