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

Week of Sunday, January 18, 2009 (22 Tevet 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. Paper on Sephardim in the Atlantic Slave Trade (Mitchell)

2. Videotaped Ladino Fieldwork from Israel: Willing to Share (Bishop)

3. Videotaped Ladino Fieldwork from Israel: Willing to Share (Cohen)

4. Videotaped Ladino Fieldwork from Israel: Willing to Share (Bishop)

5. Videotaped Ladino Fieldwork from Israel: Willing to Share (Cohen)

6. Protection of Medieval Jewish Cemetery Excavation in Spain (Stern)

7. New Publication: _The Golden Age: Synagogues of Spain in History and Architecture_ (Mauer)

8. New Publication: Tzror HaMor Torah Commentary in English (Mauer)

9. New Publication: Mikraot Gedolot HaChut Hameshulash in English (Mauer)

10. New Publication: Marc D. Angel, _The Search Committee: A Novel_ (Mauer)

11. New Publication: _Memories of Eden: A Journey through Jewish Baghdad_ (A.S.F.)

12. New Publication: _Once Jews: Stories of Caribbean Sephardim_ (Goldish)

13. New Publication: _El Presente_ Journal of Sephardic Culture (Alexander)

14. Job Opportunity: Professor and Director of Jewish Studies, Northeastern University (Sartori)

15. Call for Papers: Anthropologies of Relations, Family and Kinship (Goldberg)

16. Query: the Game “Ronda” (Sartori)

17. Query: Seeking Primary Sources for Sephardic Literature Class (Ben-Ur)

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1. Paper on Sephardim in the Atlantic Slave Trade (Mitchell)


[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: Readers may be interested in tracking down the papers for this panel, presented earlier this month at the American Historical Association.]

From: Dayo Nicole Mitchell <dnm(at)uoregon(dot)edu>

via: FEEGI2 <feegi(at)lists(dot)uoregon(dot)edu>

Date: Thu, 01 Jan 2009 10:54:54 -0800

Dear FEEGI members,

Don't forget to check out the FEEGI-sponsored panel! Friday at 1pm, tales of treasure and trade.

"Networking across Empires: Dutch, Sephardim, and Portuguese Business and Commercial Webs for the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1580 1674"

Filipa Da Silva, Leiden University

"Siamese Treasure, Mexican Merchants, and Castilian Aristocrats: A Case Study of Seventeenth-Century Imperial Legal Entanglement"

Fabio T. Lopez-Lazaro, University of Calgary

"Gallivanting Governors and Errant Magistrates: Networks of Power in Brazil and Portuguese Asia"

Erik L. Myrup, University of Kentucky

"Cape Town, Mauritius, Batavia, and Manila in the Indo-Pacific World, 1793 1815"

James R. Fichter, Lingnan University

Chair:

Lauren A. Benton, New York University

Official:

Alison F. Games, Georgetown University

Dayo Nicole Mitchell

Editor, FEEGI

http://feegi.org

Assistant Professor of History

Clark Honors College

University of Oregon

1293 University of Oregon

Eugene, OR 97401

(541) 346-0936

dnm(at)uoregon(dot)edu

[ed: very slight edit]

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2. Videotaped Ladino Fieldwork from Israel: Willing to Share (Bishop)

From: Jill Kushner Bishop <jillkbishop(at)gmail(dot)com>

Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2008 08:52:17 -0600

I'm happy to hear that there are people interested in putting my research to good use!   Some have expressed interest in for themselves and/or students, and others have suggested libraries that might want the collection. 

The challenge is that the original footage is on hi-8, with some transferred to mini DV, making it difficult to share.  My fantasy is that someone can get a grant to send a grad student to my house for a week to digitize and organize the audio and optimize it for sharing with as many people as possible.  If that's not realistic, I'm sure we can figure something out. To answer one question posed, nothing has subtitles.

I'm copying everyone who responded so that we can have a dialogue about what makes sense. 

Thank you!

Jill Bishop

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3. Videotaped Ladino Fieldwork from Israel: Willing to Share (Cohen)

From: Judith Cohen <judithc(at)yorku(dot)ca>

Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 10:11:08 -0500

Hi Jill (and hi all), thanks again for your generosity. I hope that whoever ends up with the collection will share that generosity by making it available to all who expressed an interest.

I have mini-DV camcorders, so that format is no problem, and the university probably has high-8 equipment. But as contract faculty living in Canada I can't fulfill any utopic situations such as sending a grad student to digitize it! Certainly, though, I'd be happy to help get the material optimized and shared in whatever way I can.

Best, Judith Cohen

[ed: very slight edit]

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4. Videotaped Ladino Fieldwork from Israel: Willing to Share (Bishop)

From: Jill Kushner Bishop <jillkbishop(at)gmail(dot)com>

Date:             Thu, 4 Dec 2008 12:08:51 -0600

I was just talking with Isaac Jack Levy about the issue, and he isn't sure what to do with his collection, either. For me, I have such a mix of genres and contexts, both across the collection and within the tapes themselves.  For example, a one-hour recording of Greek Holocaust survivors might have a combination of stories from Auschwitz, political commentaries, discussions about heart medication and complaints about the price of apricots in the shuk, and then a fight over who was going to pay for my sandwich that day - in Judeo-Spanish, Hebrew and a bit of Greek.  Not everyone is going to find that kind of research useful...

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5. Videotaped Ladino Fieldwork from Israel: Willing to Share (Cohen)

From: Judith Cohen <judithc(at)yorku(dot)ca>

Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 14:08:33 -0500

I have a huge collection too. The first section, from the early 1980s, is at the Jerusalem archives, but I have TONS of audio and video material that has to be digitized and safely stored.... Judith

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6. Protection of Medieval Jewish Cemetery Excavation in Spain (Stern)

From: Eworldwire Press Release Distribution <distribution(at)eworldwire(dot)com>

Date:             6 Jan 2009 20:48:35 -0000

Medieval Jewish Cemetery Excavation In Spain Garners Joint Statement From Athra Kadisha And Conference Of Academicians For The Protection Of Jewish Cemeteries

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PRESS RELEASE

ATTN: Jewish / Religion Editors And Writers

Medieval Jewish Cemetery Excavation In Spain Garners Joint Statement From Athra Kadisha And Conference Of Academicians For The Protection Of Jewish Cemeteries

Jewish cemeteries are sacred sites to be protected not only by the norms of Western Civilizations, but by the many international treaties and understandings relating to Freedom of Religion. The United Nations Charter is but one such.

For Immediate Release

BROOKLYN, N.Y./EWORLDWIRE/Jan. 6, 2009 --- The following statement is issued by Rabbi Lazar Stern of Athra Kadisha and Dr. Bernard Fryshman of the Conference of Academicians for the Protection of Jewish cemeteries regarding the excavation of the medieval Jewish cemetery in Toledo, Spain:

The immense strides made by the Spanish economy over the past few decades, the exciting new technologies developed in areas such as energy and transportation and the emergence of an open, vibrant society have been captivating. The prospect of Spain taking its place as a full partner in the family of enlightened nations has been universally welcomed.

Against this background, it is all the more disturbing to learn of ongoing excavations in the more than 600-year-old Jewish cemetery in the city of Toledo.

Those lying here are ancestors of a great many American Jews, and include sages and scholars whose words and works, even now, guide the daily lives of the Jewish people throughout the world.

Particularly relevant is the shared history of Spain and the Jewish people: a glorious era up until the end of the 14th century, subsequently the pain and horror of the Inquisition and Expulsion of 1492.

This would seem to impose a special moral obligation, a debt of history, to protect all that remains of the glorious Jewish past in Spain - the cemeteries. Instead, one reads of the removal of human skeletons and remains - an act which causes pain and anguish, and awakens national memories of the terror and helplessness which characterized the Inquisition.

The response of Spanish authorities to worldwide protests and communications has been cold and callous. On the one hand, the Spanish government has claimed that there was no desecration because the bodies will be reburied elsewhere.

A most inappropriate response, given that conversations and communications with Spanish authorities have explained that a Jewish cemetery is sacred ground. Violating this ground through unearthing the dead is a sacrilege. Even though steps are taken to rebury the remains in an orderly fashion, the desecration, the defilement occurs at the moment the digging begins.

Jewish cemeteries are established with the understanding that they will remain intact forever. This is a covenant with the ground and ensures that those buried there will never be disturbed.

Such considerations fall within the category of Kovod Ha Met, i.e., the Reverence (in the sense of veneration and awe) for the Dead. Violation of this central tenet of Judaism is a serious transgression of Jewish Law.

The Spanish government has also pointed to the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FJCP), a local Jewish organization of recent origin, as sanctioning its activities.

It is highly doubtful that this is so. More to the point, no local Jewish community recently established can arrogate unto itself any authority, control, or ownership over all Jewish cemeteries - nor do they have the authority to sign any agreements relating to these ancient sacred sites. These are matters for experts in Jewish law relating to cemeteries, of whom there are but a handful in the world.

Insofar as Toledo is concerned, the bodies removed must be returned to their original places of burial. As for other Jewish cemeteries throughout Spain, particularly those lost over the last 500 years, Spain should emulate practice in the United States. An archaeological review of a proposed building site is required to ensure it is not a Native American burial ground. Only then is a building permit issued.

In general, Jewish cemeteries are sacred sites to be protected not only by the norms of Western Civilizations, but by the many international treaties and understandings relating to Freedom of Religion. The United Nations Charter is but one such.

A person's humanity and dignity do not end with death. By respecting this dignity we affirm our own humanity as well.

Contact: Rabbi L. Stern

(845)783-9626

(845)782-6283(fax)

akhs(at)thejnet(dot)com

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CONTACT:

Lazar Stern

athra kadisha

203 Penn Street

Brooklyn, NY 11211

PHONE. 845-783-9626

KEYWORDS: Asra Kadisha, Jewish cemetery, Rabbi L. Stern, Jewish holy sites, Spain, Toledo, Cemetery, Jewish Cemetery, Jewish culture, jewish history, ancient religion, old cemeteries, cemetery desecration, religion

SOURCE: ATHRA KADISHA

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7. New Publication: _The Golden Age: Synagogues of Spain in History and Architecture_ (Mauer)

From: "NewReleases(at)UrimPublications(dot)com" <Publisher(at)UrimPublications(dot)com>

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 08:26:09 -0800

Synagogues of Spain in History and Architecture art, architecture, history and Judaism

We are pleased to announce the release of _The Golden Age: Synagogues of Spain in History and Architecture_.

This well-researched book will be of great interest to students of architecture, synagogue history & art, and Sephardic Studies. It includes several hundred photographs, illustrations, maps and architectural plans.

_The Golden Age: Synagogues of Spain in History and Architecture_

Meir Ben-Dov

At the beginning of the 1990s, the Prime Minister of the Castilian provincial government paid an official visit to Israel. His host was Yitzhak Navon, who was the Minister of Education and Culture at the time. Navon later became the fifth president of the State of Israel.

At a party for the Prime Minister of Castile, Yitzhak Navon gave a speech in his guest’s honor during which he mentioned Meir Ben-Dov’s research on Spanish synagogues. Mr. Navon noted that this research was invaluable to him when he went to Spain in order to do research for a film being produced by the Israel Broadcasting Authority to mark the five hundredth anniversary of the Expulsion.

Praise for _The Golden Age: Synagogues of Spain_

“Meir Ben-Dov’s research accompanied me to towns and villages in Spain as I searched for the roots of the Jewish community in those places. The Spanish synagogues and their heritage served as a guide for the construction of hundreds of synagogues throughout the Jewish Diaspora. Congratulations to Meir Ben-Dov for this comprehensive work, which is of the greatest significance in the study of Jewish communities in Spain.”

-Yitzhak Navon, 5th President of Israel

Hardcover, large format, 256 pages, includes photos, illustrations and architectural plans.

list price: $39.95 US

special time-limited sale price: $29.00 US.

ISBN 13: 978-965-524-016-0

The Golden Age: Synagogues of Spain in History and Architecture will soon be available around the world at your favorite bookstore or bookseller. We offer a 10-15% discount and reduced mailing costs (free mailing to any address in Israel) on all books ordered from our website. All major credit cards are welcome.

For further information about these titles, and other new books from Urim, please visit our secure webstore at www.UrimPublications.com

Sincerely,

Tzvi Mauer

Publisher

Publisher(at)UrimPublications(dot)com

www.UrimPublications.com

Urim Publications

9 HaUman Street, 2nd floor, P.O. Box 52287, Jerusalem 91521

tel: 972-2-679-7633, fax: 972-2-679-7634

Lambda Publishers

527 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn, NY 11225 USA

tel: 718-972-5449, fax: 718-972-6307

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8. New Publication: Tzror HaMor Torah Commentary in English (Mauer)

From: "NewReleases(at)UrimPublications(dot)com"

Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2008 07:05:21 -0700

Tzror HaMor, Commentary on the Torah, by Rabbi Avraham Saba, translated by Eliyahu Munk

We are pleased to announce the release of a monumental work of scholarship and biblical interpretation appearing in English for the first time -- Tzror HaMor Torah Commentary.

Tzror HaMor on the Torah is the translation into English of the commentary on the Torah by Rabbi Avraham Saba, who was born in Castile, Spain in 1440. His genius is evident in the Tzror HaMor through his use of hundreds of quotations from the Zohar to help elucidate many difficult passages in the Torah, thereby demonstrating that the Zohar is capable of being understood by the average Jew.

Tzror HaMor Torah Commentary, by Rabbi Avraham Saba

translated into English and annotated by Eliyahu Munk

Eliyahu Munk, was born in Frankfurt on Main, where he received his education at the Samson Rafael Hirsch Realschule, and at the Yeshiva of the late Rabbi Joseph Breuer, of blessed memory. He continued his education at the Yeshiva in Gateshead, England. He served in Jewish education for almost 30 years in Toronto, Canada. Eliyahu Munk has translated 12 multi-volume works of classic biblical commentary.

Hardcover, 5 volume boxed set, $195.00 US (650 NIS in Israel), Lambda Publishers, ISBN 978-965-524-013-9

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9. New Publication: Mikraot Gedolot HaChut Hameshulash in English (Mauer)

Mikraot Gedolot Multi-Commentary on the Torah Hachut Hameshulash in English: Rabbeinu Chananel, Rashbam, Radak, Seforno

Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk

The selection of these four authors: Rabbeinu Chananel, Rash'bam, R'dak, and Seforno, was prompted by the desire to acquaint the reader with exegetes who concentrate in the main on the peshat, the meaning of the text as it strikes the reader at the first cursory perusal of the text.

Revised edition, Hardcover, 4 volume boxed set, $160.00 US (600 NIS in Israel), Lambda Publishers, ISBN 965-7108-34-9

Tzror HaMor Torah Commentary in English will soon be available around the world at your favorite bookstore or bookseller. We offer a 10-15% discount and reduced mailing costs (free mailing to any address in Israel) on all books ordered from our website. All major credit cards are welcome. For further information about these titles, and other new books from Urim, please visit our secure webstore at www.UrimPublications.com

Sincerely,

Tzvi Mauer

Publisher

Publisher(at)UrimPublications(dot)com

www.UrimPublications.com

Urim Publications

9 HaUman Street, 2nd floor, P.O. Box 52287, Jerusalem 91521

tel: 972-2-679-7633, fax: 972-2-679-7634

Lambda Publishers

527 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn, NY 11225 USA

tel: 718-972-5449, fax: 718-972-6307

www.UrimPublications.com

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10. New Publication: Marc D. Angel, _The Search Committee: A Novel_ (Mauer)

From: <Publisher(at)UrimPublications(dot)com>

Date:             Thu, 25 Sep 2008 05:13:04 -0700

We are pleased to announce the release of our first book of fiction.

After a decade of publishing quality non-fiction Judaica, Urim Publications has entered the world of Jewish fiction. We are proud to announce our first offering, _The Search Committee: A Novel_. The Search Committee is also the author’s first work of fiction after two dozen critically-acclaimed books on Jewish thought. We hope that you, too, will enjoy our works of fiction.

_The Search Committee: A Novel_

by Marc Angel

Hardcover, 155 pages, list price: $19.95

ISBN 978-965-524-0122

"I have never read anything quite like The Search Committee, a fascinating novel by the Rabbi Emeritus of America's most distinguished Sephardic congregation. Through the story of two very different men, both vying to lead a prestigious Talmudic academy, the author leads us with breathtaking insight through the maze of religion and politics that is at the heart of the Orthodox Jewish world. This novel is a true contribution to Jewish-American literature."

–Naomi Ragen, best-selling author of _Jephte's Daughter_ and _The Saturday Wife_

 

More Praise for _The Search Committee_

"Be prepared for a deep, engaging and swift-moving reconnaissance of a slice of modern Judaism...."

-Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, Intermountain Jewish News

"I read the book in two gulps - could not put it down. While the author's sympathies are clear, I thought he did a remarkable job of getting into the skin, as it were, of people whom he does not much love, and allowing them to speak."

-Professor Menachem Kellner

"The Search Committee is a modern mystery novel for the theologically inclined."

-Dr. Ezra Cappell

"Highly respected as an eminent Orthodox rabbi, Angel has skillfully encapsulated in his delightful novel the struggle between modernity and tradition in the Orthodox world specifically but in the general Jewish community as well. With a light touch, he has highlighted a profound problem for contemporary Jews. Everyone interested in Jewish life will find this book to be both enlightening and entertaining."

-Dr. Morton I. Teicher, National Jewish Post & Opinion

"His novel is a literary prayer for the symphony of diverse Jewish voices to be heard."

-Rabbi Alan J. Yuter, Meorot

These and other Urim books are available around the world at your favorite bookstore or bookseller. We offer a 10-15% discount and reduced mailing costs (free mailing to any address in Israel) on all books ordered from our website. All major credit cards are welcome.

For further information about these titles, and other new books from Urim, please visit our secure webstore at www.UrimPublications.com

Sincerely,

Tzvi Mauer

Publisher

Publisher(at)UrimPublications(dot)com

www.UrimPublications.com

Urim Publications

9 HaUman Street, 2nd floor, P.O. Box 52287, Jerusalem 91521 Israel

tel: 972-2-679-7633, fax: 972-2-679-7634

Lambda Publishers

527 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn, NY 11225 USA

tel: 718-972-5449, fax: 718-972-6307

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11. New Publication: _Memories of Eden: A Journey through Jewish Baghdad_ (A.S.F.)

From: American Sephardi Federation / Sephardic House <info(at)americansephardifederation(dot)org>

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 12:37:04 -0400 (EDT)

Mira and Tony Rocca, eds., _Memories of Eden: A Journey through Jewish Baghdad_

This is a memoir of Mira's mother Violette Shamash, drawn from recollections and notes she sent over a period of twenty years to Mira and son-in-law, Tony Rocca, a former staff

writer with _The London Sunday Times_ and _Daily Mail_.

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12. New Publication: _Once Jews: Stories of Caribbean Sephardim_ (Goldish)

From: Josette Goldish <jgoldish(at)brandeis(dot)edu>

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2009 20:43:29 -0500

January 2009

Dear Friends,

Finally, after five years of research and many months of working with Markus Wiener Publishers, my book “Once Jews: Stories of Caribbean Sephardim” will become available by April of 2009.  The soft cover version of this limited edition will sell at $34.95, but I am offering it for prepaid orders received by April 1, 2009 at the price of $30.00.

The book is of particular interest to scholars and researchers of Sephardic Jewry, the Caribbean, and Latin America. If you would like to understand the history of the steady disappearance of the Caribbean Sephardim, this book is for you!  If you would like to learn about the disproportionate contribution of the Sephardic inhabitants of the 

Caribbean and Latin America to the socio-economic development of the region, this book is for you as well!!

“Once Jews” is also of interest to those who descend from the Sephardim of Curaçao, many of whom migrated from this Dutch island to Venezuela, Colombia, St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. You will learn about these enterprising Jewish men and women who left “dushi Korsou” during difficult economic times and headed for the 

unknown in search of a better life for themselves and their children. The stories describe their arrival on foreign shores, where they became entrepreneurs, politicians, traders, retailers, writers, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals.  Their stamina and hard work affected not only their own lives but also the cultural and economic environments of the countries that became their new homes. If you are related to the Lopez Penha, De Marchena, Delvalle, Capriles, Piza, Sasso, Senior, Curiel, Salas, Alvares Correa, Levy 

Maduro and other Caribbean Sephardic families, this book is for you.

Some of you are receiving this announcement because you expressed interest during the past few years about what could possibly have been keeping me so busy.  So, here is your chance to find out.

I have attached a copy of the preliminary book cover (front and back), as well as an order form that you can fill out and send with a check to the indicated address by April 1, 2009.  If you live in Curaçao, you can sign up and pay for the book in the gift shop of Mikvé Israel – Emanuel or at the Bloemhof Art Center. If you live anywhere else, you can fill out the attached form and mail it to me with your check.  As soon as I receive the books from the publisher, I shall mail your copy/copies to the indicated address(es).

Please respond soon so that your order may be included in this special first run.  Once these copies are depleted, you will be able to purchase the book at the regular retail price from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble later this year.

If you know of others who may be interested in acquiring a copy of “Once Jews” at this special price, feel free to make use of the attached materials to publicize its availability among your acquaintances.

With best wishes for a happy and healthy 2009,

Josette Capriles Goldish

9 Benjamin Place

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

jgoldish(at)brandeis(dot)edu

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13. New Publication: _El Presente_ Journal of Sephardic Culture (Alexander)

From:            gaon-center <gaon(at)bgu(dot)ac(dot)il>

Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 12:09:15 +0200

_El Presente_ is an academic per-reviewed journal dedicated to Sephardic Culture. The journal is published by Gaon Center for Ladino culture in Ben-Gurion University and edited by Prof. Tamar Alexander and Prof. Yaakov Ben Tolila.

Volume 2, which was just published, is dedicated to the Sephardic culture in northern Morocco. This volume is based on 17 lectures given in an international workshop which was held in Ben-Gurion University on June 2007. The Sephardic culture in northern Morocco (Haketia speakers) have received hardly any academic attention in research. This volume published in English and Spanish includes three sections: History, Language, Literature, Folklore and Music. The authors are well known researchers from Spain, Canada, France, Turkey, Greece and Israel, for example: Prof. Yom-Tov Assis; Prof. Gérard Nahon; Prof. Rena Molho; Prof. Paloma Díaz-Mas; Prof. Yaakov Ben Tolila and Prof. David Bunis.

For further details or for purchasing the volume please contact Gaon center: gaon(at)bgu(dot)ac(dot)il.

Tamar Alexander

[ed: very slight edit]

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14. Job Opportunity: Professor and Director of Jewish Studies, Northeastern University (Sartori)

From: "Mendelsohn, Adam D" <MendelsohnA(at)COFC(dot)EDU>

Date:    Thu, 1 Jan 2009 02:50:53 -0500

Northeastern University invites applications and nominations for the Ruderman Professorship of Jewish Studies. The field of specialization is open within the arts, humanities, and the social sciences. A terminal degree is required. The successful candidate will have a record of substantial publication and professional visibility in the field of Jewish Studies; a strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate education; and experience in or a demonstrated commitment to working with diverse student populations and/or in a culturally diverse work and educational environment. The Committee is looking for an energetic and creative Director of Jewish Studies who can help shape a dynamic and growing program and major. Current faculty in Jewish Studies come from many disciplines, providing Northeastern students with a broad exposure to the study of Jewish religion, culture, and identity. The Jewish Studies Program has significant relationships with the broader Jewish community as well as other Jewish Studies programs located in the heart of the intellectually vibrant city of Boston. Tenure will be within an appropriate department and/or within the Jewish Studies program. Salary, rank and workload will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

Nominations or letters of application, including a current curriculum vitae, description of research interests, evidence of teaching effectiveness, samples of published research, and the names and contact information of three references, should be sent to: Professor Debra Kaufman, 515 Holmes- Sociology, 360 Huntington Avenue, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115. Applications received by February 28, 2009, will receive fullest consideration. Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. Northeastern University particularly welcomes applications from minorities, women and persons with disabilities.

Contact Info:

Jennifer Sartori

Northeastern University

11b Nightingale Hall

360 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA 02115

Website: http://www.jewishstudies.neu.edu

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15. Call for Papers: Anthropologies of Relations, Family and Kinship (Goldberg)

From: "Harvey E. Goldberg" <msharvey(at)mscc(dot)huji(dot)ac(dot)il>

Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 06:53:14 +0200

The Annual Meetings of the Israel Anthropological Association “Narrow is My World?” Anthropologies of Relations, Family and Kinship Kinneret Academic College - Emek Hayarden April 22-23, 2009 Keynote Speaker: Prof. Michael Lambek (U Toronto)

Call for Papers

The 37th annual meetings of the Israel Anthropological Association will be hosted by the Kinneret Academic College in the Jordan Valley, near the “gates of paradise” and Kibbutz Kinneret, which was one of the first Jewish experiments in creating a new model of social relations between the individual, the family and the collective.

This year’s meetings will return to the classic (though ever renewing) topic of critical research on intimacy, human relations, family and kinship. Our meetings will attempt to use the intellectual toolbox of anthropology in rethinking about relations, the family and kinship. We will attempt to analyze the place of the family in the inner and wider circles of human behavior and to examine transformations in the family in recent years both in Israel and elsewhere.

In the distribution of labor between anthropology and sociology, anthropologists tend to use the term “kinship” while sociologists use the term “family.”  Anthropologists tended to examine traditional cultures where kinship was seen as the central element of social life, while sociologists tended to examine modern Western society where the very disconnection between dominant social systems and kinship was seen as marking its uniqueness.   Furthermore, sociologists tend to see family structures as a “given” and examine the relations between it and other social categories, like ethnicity, class or gender.  Anthropology, at least in it critical form, questions these “obviousness” about the family and try to understand its social constructions, reconstructions and deconstructions.

Anthropological interest in relations, family and kinship dates back to the very birth of the discipline over a century ago.  It flowed from the intellectual tradition of both anthropology and related disciplines.  The romantics of the late 19th century, including some anthropologists, tried to discover (outside the religious myth) the pre-history of Man.    For example, Lewis Henry Morgan attempted to find clues in the kinship terminology of traditional societies for the social structures of ancient times and to understand the apparent “survivals "of these forms in modern society.  At the same time, Marx and Engels tried to understand societal development by analyzing the connections between family structure, gender and the means of production.

The British anthropologists, the so called structural-functionalists, thought that kinship maintained the very core of the social structure. On this basis, they differentiated between the traditional and the modern (in traditional society, the totality of social life – the economic, religious, politics, myth and law – was perceived to rest upon and reinforce kinship relations. On the other hand, structural anthropologists (like Levi-Strauss and his students) attempted to look for the logics of kinship relations, underlying their social concreteness.  Levi-Strauss attributed to kinship relations a central status in exchange relations (along with goods and ideas).  In particular, kinship demonstrates that the change from “nature” to “culture” occurred when human beings realized that it is advantageous to relinquish the desire to marry one’s sister in order to marry his enemy’s daughter.

Some of these research traditions died out in the second half of the 20th century, but others continue to capture the imagination of anthropologists and are renewed through critical perspectives. Today, the categories of “nature” and “culture”, for instance, still serve as useful analytical tools to think about family and kin, even in modern Western societies. The anthropologist David Schneider, claimed that American kinship is one of the bases of American ideology, because it signifies the importance of solidarity with one’s social circles and these relationships serve as a central symbol in national, religious and urban discourses. 

In another direction, the flowering of critical approaches in social, psychological and medical anthropology have produced many research projects that followed the politics – and the ambivalences – of emotions in everyday life, in particular within intimate relations.  Additional critical questions need to be asked about the ways kinship relations are created, presented and interpreted in order to understand power relations and gender.

The very terms “relations,” “family,” and “kinship” are worthy of serious review through the anthropological perspective. Perhaps this will give us a clearer view of the massive social changes of recent years in relation to the family.  For example, in Israel there is a rapid rise in “single parent” families and families with same sex parents who decide to have children or adopt and there is an ongoing public debate on the legitimate family.  There exists a deep divide between these changes and the legal system. Further, it is vital to examine the manner in which family is constructed by the state, the educational system and the media. Finally, the appearance of self-help projects like support groups, new social and religious movements challenge the dialectics between self and family, and raise suspicions toward family relations. Personal memories may work to break down family relations or to rebuild them in new ways.

At this year’s meetings, we will attempt then to examine relations, family and kinship in a broad spectrum of theories and methods.  We are encouraging sessions and papers dealing with the following issues:

1)            Cultural Relativity: What is the place of kinship and family in different cultural contexts within the diverse sectors of Israeli society and in comparison to other societies? For example, how do religious ideologies, attachment to tradition, euro-centrism, colonialism and post-colonialism affect the strength or legitimacy of different family and kinship structures?

2)            Parenting, Parents, Childhood and Children: What is the nature of the “family” and what characterizes it in terms of gender relations, inter-generational relations and sibling relations?

3)            Self and Family in the Post-Modern Context: What is the nature of the boundaries of the self or the individual in new social contexts like support groups, new social and religious movements or tourism, including “search for roots” pilgrimages? What happens to the relations between the individual and the family in social projects that isolate the individual from the family?  How do individuals experience social belonging and what is the place of the family in these contexts?

4)            Resources: What connections are stretched between family relations and material, political and other relations?

5)            Family, Ethnicity, Nationalism and the State: What are the connections between family and nationalism?  What is the role of the state in enlisting different families in different contexts, in particular ethnic and national?  How is the continuity between the state, the bureaucracy and the family maintained?

6)            The Family and Globalization:  How is the family working its way in times of changing borders and multiple identities? What is the effect of global processes like immigration, exile, refugees or genocide on inter-personal and inter-generational relations in the family?

7)            Change: How are the new forms of the family negotiated in the public sphere?

8)            Politics of Intimacy: Considering the blurring of borders between the private and the public, how are intimate relations managed and what are the implications for the nature of family relations?

The following proposals for presentation formats may be submitted:

•            Organized sessions including papers

•            Individually volunteered papers

•            Workshops or round-table discussions

Abstract length – 70-250 words.

Deadline for submission of an organized session – February 1, 2009.

Deadline for submission of single-paper presentation – February 15, 2009.

Submissions and registration for the conference are done through the Association’s website:

http://www.anthropology.org.il/ 00

Harvey E. Goldberg, Emeritus

Sarah Allen Shaine Chair in Sociology and Anthropology

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16. Query: the Game “Ronda” (Sartori)

From: sartori <leosartori(at)comcast(dot)net>

Date:             Tue, 30 Dec 2008 21:46:45 -0500

I am translating a novel by a French writer who was born in Algeria (Marlene Amar, _La femme sans tete_ [“The Headless Woman”]). In describing her life there, she refers to a game called a "ronda." Can readers help me translate this term? Please respond both to me directly and to this listserv.

Eva Sartori

[ed: very slight edit]

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17. Query: Seeking Primary Sources for Sephardic Literature Class (Ben-Ur)

I wondered if readers could guide me to foundational primary sources, in

English translation, suitable for my "Sephardic Literatures and Cultures" class. In particular, I am looking for primary material for the medieval period (but would also welcome suggestions for early modern texts). I have taught the class a number of times since 1999, and am trying to avoid using the same sources I have used in the past. I include a list of those sources below. Thank you in advance.

Aviva Ben-Ur

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Epitaph of Salomonula, Adra, Spain, 3rd century, in Emil Hübner, Inscriptiones

Hispaniæ Latinæ (Berlin, 1869), p.268.

Paul's Letter to the Romans (Romans 15: 24, 28).

The Book of Obadiah 1:20.

Council of Elvira, Spain (c. 306).

Poetry of Samuel Hanagid and Judah Halevi.

Judah Halevi, The Kuzari.

The Poem of the Cid.

The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela.

Moses Maimonides, "Discourse on Martyrdom [Kiddush Hashem/Epistle to the Jews

of Morocco]."

texts on Ramban's 1263 Barcelona Disputation.

Anonymous Disciple of Abraham Abulafia, Shaarei Tzedek (The Gates of Justice)

(ca. 1290/1295), and Rabbi Judah ben Yehiel Asheri of Toledo (d. 1349),

Testament. In Michael Goodich, ed., Other Middle Ages: Witnesses at the Margins

of Medieval Society (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998).

King James I of Aragon, 1242, Decree on Jewish and Muslim Converts to

Christianity, in Chazan, ed., Church State and Jew in the Middle Ages, pp.255-

256 and pp.259-263.

Alfonso X "The Wise," Las Siete Partidas of Alfonso X el Sabio," and "Las Siete

Partidas: Laws on Jews, 1265."

Lope de Vega (1562-1625), "The Innocent Child."

Selection of documents on the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain: The Edict of

Expulsion; Don Isaac Abravanel; Andrés Bernáldez.

Poems of João Pinto Delgado on Queen Esther, Mordecai and Haman.

Solomon ibn Verga, Shebet Yehudah.

Fernando de Rojas, La Celestina.

Luis de Carvajal, "The Autobiography of Luis de Carvajal, the Younger [1567-

1596]," and "The Letter and Last Will and Testament of Luis de Carvajal, the

Younger [1567-1596]."

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