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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List – November 9, 2008

Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List

Editor/Moderator: Aviva Ben-Ur <aben-ur(at)judnea(dot)umass(dot)edu>

Week of Sunday, November 9, 2008 (11 Heshvan 5769)

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For archived issues please visit: http://www.umass.edu/sephardimizrahi/past_issues/index.html

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Index:

1. Review of: Bezael, _You Were Born Zionists_ (Nassi)

2. New Publication: Bali, _A Scapegoat for All Seasons: The Doenmes or Crypto-Jews of

Turkey_ (Bali)

3. New Publication: Schwarzwald, _A Dictionary of the Ladino Passover Haggadoth_ (Schwarzwald)

4. New Publication: Collin and Studemund-Halevy, “Un Aspect Du Patrimoine Sefarade

De Plovdiv” (Roth)

5. Call for Papers: "Jewish Studies on the Low Countries", University of Antwerp, May 2009 (Vanden Daelen)

6. Call for Papers: "The Alsace-Lorraine Jewish Experience in Louisiana and the Gulf South", New Orleans, Nov. 2009 (Greenwald)

7. Doctoral Fellowship in Modern Jewish History at UW-Madison (Dresser)

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1. Review of: Bezael, _You Were Born Zionists_ (Nassi)

From: gad nassi <nassig(at)gmail(dot)com>

Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2008 22:43:09 +0200           

Thinking it will interest Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List, attached a review on the recent book by Itzhak Bezael.

Best wishes,

Gad Nassi

Itzhak Bezael, _You Were Born Zionists: The Sephardim in Eretz Israel in Zionism and the Hebrew Revival during the Ottoman Period_ (Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 2007) [Hebrew]

Reviewed by Gad Nassi

"We became Zionists, you were born Zionists" Those were the words by which, Nahum Sokolov, the President of the Zionist Federation, referred to Sephardim, during the years 20 of the late century. The title of this monumental work by Dr. Itzhak Bezalel, "You Were Born Zionists" recently published by Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi and The Ben-Zvi Institute, was inspired by those words. Edited in Hebrew and containing 500 pages, its subtitle is The Sephardim in Eretz Israel in Zionism and the Hebrew Revival during the Ottoman Period.

Many works on Sephardim in the Land of Israel during this period have been published. However, according to Bezalel, everyday language, literature and studies have mostly ignored or diminished the status of the Sephardim in those domains.

In the introduction, Bezalel inform us on the sources of his studies and surveys the evolution of the concept of Zionism, by elaborating it in its Ashkenazi and Sephardic context during history.

As admitted during Ottoman period in Eretz Israel, the term Sephardic is used to designate all the Jewish communities that were not Ashkenazi and were considered as belonging to a separate and distinct entity.

The book studies the settlement of the Sephardim in the Land of Israel, their integration into the new education system and into modern Zionism, their contribution to the revival of Hebrew language, to education and their achievements in journalism and literature.

Bezalel explains that the dichotomy – or polarization – which existed in Ashkenazi communities concerning the new and ancient establishment in Eretz Israel, secular and religious education, modern Zionism and Messianic Redemption, modern Hebrew and the Sacred Language and in other domains, did not exist among Sephardic communities. In the same way, when European Zionism was a secondary reaction and subject to political, social and cultural vicissitudes, Sephardic Zionism, marked by its spiritual and traditional bonds to the Land of Israel, followed a relatively coherent and stable course.

As to the contribution of Sephardim to the development of economic life, Bezalel informs that Rabbi Jacob Elyashar led Sephardic rabbis of Jerusalem with his famous decree authorizing Jews to work the land and sell it products during those parts of the years 1888-1889 that corresponded to the sabbatical year.

When in the year 1856, the "Rabbinical Laemel College", considered as the pivotal event in the beginning of modern education, was founded in Eretz Israel, Sephardic rabbis supported it although it was banned by Ashkenazi rabbis. During it first three decades, the college functioned under the supervision of the Sephardic community. Sephardim established and supported secular education, while Ashkenazi rabbis opposed it. Therefore, the learning of Hebrew, accountancy, history, Arabic and Turkish was added to Torah education.

Later, Sephardic Talmud Torah institutions participated with Zionist organizations in Tu bi-Shvat parades, a demonstration which was inconceivable for the Ashkenazi rabbis. 

With the initiative of Sephardic rabbis to establish a modern school where secular education and the teaching of languages would be included, the "Religious and Scientific College", was founded in Jaffa in 1910 by Rabbi Ben-Sion Uziel who was later be nominated Chief Rabbi.

As to Hebrew revival, Bezalel mentions the names of persons who anticipated Eliezer Ben-Yehudah and assisted him. Among them was Nesim Behar who directed Alliance Schools in Istanbul and then in Jerusalem during the years 70 and 80 in 19th century. Behar was the promoter of the educational revolution in Hebrew. He guided Ben-Yehudah  and David Yelin who established in Jerusalem the Seminary for teachers in Hebrew language.

Bezalel expounds on the role of Sephardic journalism. Although this was initiated by Ashkenazim in 1863 by the publication in 1863 of Havatzelet and HaLevanon, these newspapers interrupted their publication on the same year. When journalistic activity was renewed in 1870, journals published by Sephardim also appeared. Among them, the prominence of HaMeasef and HaHeruth is emphasized.

Bezalel comments on the positive role of Sephardim concerning the development of the relationship between Jews and Arabs. He mentions Avram Almaleh, who with his articles in HaHeruth, dealt with the issue, when Ashkenazi organizations ignored it.   

Each of the ten chapters following the introduction investigates and analyzes the subject in an extensive way and with a clear and fluid style. Sephardi Immigration and Settling Eretz Israel in the Late Ottoman Period / The Beginning of Modernization – the Sephardim and the New Education / Prolegomena to Zionism among the Sephardim / Zionism in the "Old Yishuv" – The First Stage / The Sephardim in Zionist Discourse after the Revolution of 1908 / Their Participation in the Revival of the Hebrew Language / Their Periodicals in Eretz Israel during the Ottoman Period / Haheruth – A Nationalist Newspaper under Sephardi Auspices / Literature between Old and New and between East and West / The Arab Question in their Writings and Activity

In the summary entitled The Attempt as Integration and its Failure, Bezalel reports that Sephardim who settled in Eretz Israel till to the beginning of the 19th century, constituted the principal part of its Jewish population and also the basis of its survival. He adds that Sephardim during this period, immigrated not in order to study Torah and be buried there like Ashkenazim, but with the aim of settling in the country with their families and working for they livelihood. By being the initiators of Jewish banks and the constructions of new quarters of habitation, they were active and influential in economic life.

The grassroots of Zionism already grew and existed in the Orient, and the emergence of the State of Israel was not only due to political Zionism as a European phenomenon, but to the settlement and contribution of Jews during the centuries which preceded this stage.

Understanding the features of Zionism in this context deserves a different and more appropriate evaluation.

The work of Itzhak Bezalel without any doubt will serve as an essential and fecund source for the knowledge and investigation of the Zionist movement in the Land of Israel, and particularly on the status of Sephardim in this context.

Bezalel, Itzhak, YOU WERE BORN ZIONISTS, The Sephardim in Eretz Israel in Zionism and the Hebrew Revival during the Ottoman Period (in Hebrew), Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi and The Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem 2007. ISBN 978-965-235-119-7

Gad Nassi is an Israeli psychiatrist and author.

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2. New Publication: Bali, _A Scapegoat for All Seasons: The Doenmes or Crypto-Jews of

Turkey_ (Bali)

From: rifat(dot)bali(at)gmail(dot)com

Date: Thu Sep 25 23:59:42 2008Pls note my new publication:

Rifat N. Bali, _A Scapegoat for All Seasons: The Doenmes or Crypto-Jews of

Turkey_, The Isis Press, Istanbul, 2008, 418 p,  ISBN 978-975-428-3634-1

price USD 45.-

The book narrates the demonization of the Doenmes (followers of Shabtai Tzevi) in the Turkish society and media and explores the reasons of this demonization. Orders can be placed either with the publisher or with the author at rifat(dot)bali(at)gmail(dot)com

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3. New Publication: Schwarzwald, _A Dictionary of the Ladino Passover Haggadoth_ (Schwarzwald)

From: "Ora R. Schwarzwald" <ora(dot)schwarzwald(at)gmail(dot)com>

Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 12:41:36 +0300

Ora (Rodrigue) Schwarzwald, _A Dictionary of the Ladino Passover Haggadoth_, (Eda VeLashon 27), Magnes Press, Jerusalem 2008.

Nineteen Ladino Haggadoth written in Hebrew script are included in this study. The were published in Belgrad, Budapest, Constantinople, Livorno, Pisa, Salonika, Venice, Vienna, the earliest from 1565, the latest from the beginning of the 20th century.

Part 1 of the book described the Ladino Haggadoth, and Part 2 is a detailed dictionary Hebrew-Ladino and Ladino-Hebrew for each of the words in all their occurrences in each of the Haggadoth, including the texts, the instructions and the illustrations.

Ora Schwarzwald

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4. New Publication: Collin and Studemund-Halevy, “Un Aspect Du Patrimoine Sefarade

De Plovdiv” (Roth)

From:             Norman Roth <ndroth(at)wisc(dot)edu>

Date:             Fri, 26 Sep 2008 10:12:14 -0500

Here is an article which perhaps will be of interest:

Gaelle Collin & Michael Studemund-Halevy, “Un Aspect Du Patrimoine Sefarade

De Plovdiv: Le Fonds De Livres En Judeo-Espagnol De La Bibliotheque Ivan

Vazov,” in _Materia Giudaica_ 12/ 2 (2007): 285-290. The journal is online: http://www.humnet.unipi.it/medievistica/aisg/AISG_05Materia/AISG_Materia.html

Norman Roth

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5. Call for Papers: "Jewish Studies on the Low Countries", University of Antwerp, May 2009 (Vanden Daelen)

From: "Vanden Daelen Veerle" <veerle(dot)vandendaelen(at)ua(dot)ac(dot)be>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <amend(at)BRANDEIS(dot)EDU>

Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 11:35:35 -0400

CALL FOR PAPERS

2nd Contact Day Jewish Studies on the Low Countries  - University of Antwerp (Belgium) - Wednesday 20 May 2009

The Institute of Jewish Studies organizes for the second time an interdisciplinary conference concerning Jewish Studies on the Low Countries at the University of Antwerp. The purpose of the conference is to facilitate contacts between researchers working within this area of study. We especially encourage young researchers to participate in the workshop. We also hope for contributions from more established researchers, in order to establish a positive exchange between different research generations. Presentations may include works in progress. We welcome all themes and disciplines within Jewish Studies concerning the Low Countries. Proposals need not be limited to a specific historical period. Both individual and panel proposals are possible. The conference languages are Dutch and English.

Please submit an abstract of maximally 400 words and a cv by 18 December

2008. For further information please contact: Karin Hofmeester: kho(at)iisg(dot)nl  -

Veerle Vanden Daelen: veerle(dot)vandendaelen(at)ua(dot)ac(dot)be

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6. Call for Papers: "The Alsace-Lorraine Jewish Experience in Louisiana and the Gulf South", New Orleans, Nov. 2009 (Greenwald)

From: "Erin Greenwald" <ErinG(at)hnoc(dot)org>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <amend(at)BRANDEIS(dot)EDU>

Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 13:58:56 -0400

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Alsace-Lorraine Jewish Experience in Louisiana and the Gulf South

The Historic New Orleans Collection, with support from the Consulate General of France in New Orleans and from Tulane University, announces a one-day conference to be held November 13, 2009, in New Orleans.  The organizing committee invites submissions on a range of subjects discussing the Alsace-Lorraine Jews of New Orleans and their associated communities.  Possible subjects of relevance include but are not limited to

* Jewish community life in Alsace-Lorraine

* Rhine Valley immigration to the New Orleans region

* Jews in 19th-century New Orleans

* rural vs. urban lifestyles of Louisiana's Jewish immigrants

* German-French relations in America

* European Jews and their cultural allegiances in America.

Proposals for 30-minute English-language presentations should be sent to Mr. Daniel Hammer (danielh(at)hnoc(dot)org) and should consist of a CV and a 500-word abstract.  The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2008. Limited travel funds are available.

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7. Doctoral Fellowship in Modern Jewish History at UW-Madison (Dresser)

From: "Todd Dresser" <dresser(at)wisc(dot)edu>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <amend(at)BRANDEIS(dot)EDU>

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2008 12:02:00 -0500

Doctoral Fellowship in Modern Jewish History

The George L. Mosse Distinguished Graduate Fellowships in Modern Jewish History are intended to promote the study of modern Jewish history within the framework of European or American history by attracting outstanding Ph.D. candidates. Students with an interest in other areas of modern Jewish history are strongly encouraged to apply.

The fellowship package consists of five years of guaranteed support: two years fellowship; one year TA or PA; one year Mosse Teaching Fellowship; one year study at the Hebrew University under the auspices of the George L. Mosse Exchange Program.

Students can also take advantage of the thirty-five faculty from seventeen disciplines associated with the George L. Mosse/Laurence A. Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies, an interdisciplinary program. Information on the Center, and faculty profiles can be found at: http://polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/jewishst/faculty.htm

Application Information:

Admission to the Department of History at UW-Madison and the Mosse

Fellowships can be found at: http://history.wisc.edu or contact Jane Williams, jrwillia(at)wisc(dot)edu, 1-608-263-1962.

Candidates for the Mosse Fellowships:

Submit an application to the UW-Madison Dept. of History, specifying your wish to be considered for the Mosse Fellowship in Modern Jewish History on the Supplemental Information for Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships form found on the History Department webpage: http://history.wisc.edu/graduate/admissions.htm

For additional information on the Mosse Fellowships:

David Sorkin, Frances and Laurence Weinstein Prof. of History and Jewish Studies, djsorkin(at)wisc(dot)edu

Tony Michels, George L. Mosse Associate Prof. of American Jewish History and

Jewish Studies, aemichels(at)wisc(dot)edu

John Tortorice, Director Mosse Program, jtortori(at)wisc(dot)edu

Application Deadline is December 1.

http://mosseprogram.wisc.edu

 

 

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