Once I began my research in the synagogue in Salvador, Brazil, I met men and women of color who considered themselves Jewish, even when the rabbi and other congregants did not. I was especially interested in the stories ofthe Jewish women of color I met. Their passion for Judaism, desire to raise their children Jewish, and their insistence on claiming both identities - Black and Jewish - in the face of rejection from "white" Jewish communities and non-Jewish Afro-Brazilian communities, as well as their families, spoke to me deeply and I felt compelled to shift the focus of my thesis. I began to ask the question Aurora Levins Morales poses in "The Historian as Curandera," '''If women are assumed to be the most important people in the story, how will that change the questions we ask?'" Because Brazil has consistently made efforts to make Jews into symbols of otherness and at the same time rhetorically valued the "mulatto" identity as a symbol of brasilidade ("Brazilianness"), Jews are seen as foreign parasites, light-skinned Blacks are portrayed as symbols of "authentic" Brazilian identity, dark-skinned Blacks are invisible, and Jews and Blacks are irreparably separated from each other. In addition, the rhetorical valuation of the "mulata" and the devaluation of the Jew, places the Black Jewish women I interviewed, who fit into the "mulata" category because they are lighter-skinned black women, in between what is symbolically valued and devalued in Brazil, literally in the border between "us" and "them." Moacyr Schar's use ofthe centaur to describe Brazilian Jews' position in the borderlands and Gloria Anzaldua's use of the image of women "caught in the crossfire" are both transformed by the inclusion of Misty Anderson's exploration ofthe transgressive meanings ofthe woman centaur. The Afro-Brazilian Jewish women I interviewed are spiritual, religious, sexual, and racial transgressors. They are "caught in the crossfire" between multiple communities and identities, but they assert their agency to break the barriers that surround them, to live how they want to live.