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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List - November 25, 2001

Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus
Discussion List
Editor/Moderator: Aviva Ben-Ur <>
Date: Week of Sunday, November 25, 2001
10 Kislev 5762


1. Call for AJS Session/Paper Descriptions related to Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies (Ben-Ur)

2. Call for Papers: Panel on Jewish Languages at Israeli Association for the Study of Language and Society (Bunin Benor)

3. Call for Papers: "Education and Culture & Sephardi/Mizrachi Jewry in Israel and the Diaspora" (Kerem)

4. Query: Number of Ladino Books Published Worldwide (Sheynin)

5. Introducing Tamara Lucas to the List (Lucas)
1. Call for AJS Session/Paper Descriptions related to Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies (Ben-Ur)

From: Aviva Ben-Ur <>
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Continuing our Discussion List tradition, I would like to invite Association for Jewish Studies conference participants to submit a brief description of conference sessions or papers related to Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies. Please include, along with your description, the date and time of your session. Thanks!

Aviva Ben-Ur
University of Massachusetts
2. Call for Papers: Panel on Jewish Languages at Israeli Association for the Study of Language and Soceity (Bunin Benor)

From: Sarah Bunin Benor <>
Date: Monday, November 26, 2001

Jews often have unique ways of speaking their local language. Jewish
varieties of English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Turkish, for example,
include influences in lexicon, syntax, phonology, and discourse from
Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, and/or Judeo-Arabic. I am coordinating a panel
on this phenomenon for the first Annual Meeting of the Israeli Association
for the Study of Language and Society.

Questions to be addressed by this panel include:
· What can contemporary Jewish varieties of English, French, etc.,
tell us about the development of Jewish languages?
· What can they tell us about the communities that speak them?
· What role does ideology play in the development of these
· What social factors (e.g., religiosity, learnedness, gender,
interaction with non-Jews, generation since immigration) affect variation
within these varieties?
· Can these varieties be considered Jewish languages?

The conference will take place May 5-6, 2002, at Tel-Aviv University in
Israel. The general theme of the conference is Language and Identity in a
Multicultural Society. Conference papers may be presented in Hebrew or

To submit a paper to this panel, please send a preliminary description of
your paper to Sarah Bunin Benor <> by December 20,
2001. Final abstracts will be due to the Association in February.

If you research the way Jews speak or write a contemporary language, but
cannot attend this conference, please contact me for information on future
events and to be added to the Jewish-Languages listserv. Please forward
this message to anyone who may be interested.

Sarah Bunin Benor
Stanford University
3. Call for Papers: "Education and Culture & Sephardi/Mizrachi Jewry in Israel and the Diaspora" (Kerem)

From: Yitzchak Kerem <>
Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2001 1:16 PM

"Education and Culture & Sephardi/Mizrachi Jewry in Israel and the Diaspora; Peripheralization or Mainstream Inclusion; Past, Present, and Future Trends"

The purpose of the conference is to identify, characterize, and analyze the peripheralization and unfamiliarity of the culture and history of Sephardi, Mizrachi (North African, and Middle Eastern), and Oriental Jews within the Israeli educational system and Jewish education in the diaspora, Israeli society, the Jewish diaspora, and in the context of Orientalism. The conference invites scholars, educators, community activists, people from the arts, and others to give presentations in an academic format in which they elaborate on facets of the marginalization, exclusion, and/or the state of inclusion of Sephardi/Oriental Jewry in the Israeli educational system, in public and political life, and in Jewish education and communal affairs in the diaspora. Stressing the interdisciplinary dimension of the issue, not only papers on education are welcome, but also those dealing with history, culture, gender studies, music, literature, language, political science, sociology, anthropology, theater, film, halacha, and dance.

Presenters are encouraged to relate to past and present problems on the recognition of Sephardi/Oriental studies, history, and culture. Papers involving Sephardi affairs, Sephardi/Mizrachi curriculum, the instruction of Sephardi/Mizrachi themes in schools and universities, and the future of Sephardi/Mizrachi/Oriental Jewish studies are highly encouraged.

All participants and presenters will be expected to pay a minimal conference fee in order to cover organizational expenses, conference packets, coffee breaks, meals, and special events. Scholars from abroad are encouraged to attend, but funding for partial travel grants is very limited. All foreign participants will be housed in hotels or with home hospitality depending on budget restrictions or preferences.

The conference will take place May 6-8, 2002 at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheva, Israel. The conference is held under the auspices of the Department of Education at BGU, and the monthly academic e-mail publication "Sefarad, the Sephardic Newsletter"
(; of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
(HYPERLINK and administered by the Center for Educational Enhancement, Ben Gurion University. The conference papers will be published afterward in scholarly format in hardcopy and electronic form.

Individuals are invited to present papers on the following themes:

* Peripheralization of the Sephardim/Mizrachim/Oriental Jews in the Israeli educational system
* The instruction of Sephardi/ Mizrachi studies in Israeli universities
* The peripheralization of Sephardic/Mizrachi history and culture in the Israeli "Bagrut" (baccalaureat) examinations.
* The relation of Sephardi/Oriental research institutions to classroom instruction
* The history of developing Sephardi curriculum; genuine efforts or ploys for funding?
* Problems in the instruction of Judeo-Spanish, Judeo-Arabic, and other Jewish non-Ashkenazi languages
* Problems of Sephardi philanthropy and the funding of Sephardi/Mizrachi education
* The demise of the Kedma Mizrachi School in Tel Aviv
* Sephardi/Mizrachi Integration in the Israeli educational system

* Marginality of Sephardi/Mizrachi Jewry in Holocaust education
* The exclusion of Sephardi/Mizrachi Jewry in Holocaust commemoration and reparations.
* The omission of Sephardi/Mizrachim in Holocaust literature and poetry

* The advancement of Sephardi/Mizrachi women in Israeli society
* The role of Sephardi/Mizrachi women in the Israeli education system
* The gender discrepancy in the education of Sephardim/Mizrachi/Oriental Jews
* Sephardi/Oriental Studies and feminism

* Modern Israeli culture and the marginalization/omission of Sephardi/Mizrachi culture
* Mizrachi music in Israelis society
* Mizrachi authors on the fringe of modern Israeli Hebrew literature
* The degree of acceptance of the Mimouna festivities in Israeli society and abroad
* Israeli Dance and Mediterranean/Sephardi/Mizrachi/Oriental Culture
* Israeli Society and Sephardi/Mizrachi Superstition, Folklore, Healing, and Traditions of Natural Medicine.
* The Sephardi tradition of Kabbalah; an unstated given or neglected by Hassidim and researchers?

* Sephardi/Mizrachi identity in the "Israeli Melting Pot"
* How modern Zionism has defined Sephardi identity
* Old Yishuv verses New Yishuv in the Israeli historiography
* Is there a place for the Sephardim/Mizrachim in post-Zionist Analysis?
* Defining Sephardim and Mizrachim
* The loss of ethnic Identity of Sephardim/Mizrachim in the Israeli political and institutional establishment
* Mizrachi halacha and the Israeli Rabbinate; has there been change or delegitimation?
* The role of skin color in judging Sephardi/Oriental Jewry
* Marriage between Sephardim/Mizrachim and Ashkenazim in Israeli society
* The Sephardim and Mizrachim in the modern Israeli narrative
* The portrayal and involvement of Sephardim and Mizrachim in the media in Israel and abroad
* The assimilation of Sephardim/Mizrachim in Israeli society
* Responding to M.K. Uri Orr, Sephardim/Mizrachim and social concerns
* Has the Sephardi/Mizrahi - Ashkenazi socio-economic gap widened?
* The role of Sephardim/Mizrachim in Israeli politics and the army

* The history of Sephardi/Mizrachi education abroad
* The inclusion/exclusion of Sephardim/Mizrachim in the curriculum of Jewish education in the diaspora
* The Sephardi/Oriental Minority in the midst of the Ashkenazic majority in the United States and Canada
* The Sephardi/Mizrachi communities of Latin America; parochialism or exclusion?
* Recognition of Sephardim/Mizrachim amongst Australian Jewry and society
* Mizrachim and Oriental Jews from the Far East; commonality and differences
* The Mizrachi component of the former Soviet Jews; the Jews from Central Asia
* Assimilation and Ashkenazification of Sephardim/Oriental Jewry abroad
* The exclusion of Sephardim in diasporic Jewish literature
* Sephardi/Mizrachi/Oriental Jewish studies abroad

* The clash between Mizrachim and Jewish Agency settlement plans in the 50s and 60s
* Reexamining the Absorption of Sephardi/Mizrachi/Oriental Jews in Israel in the 1950s and 1960s.
* The Shas Phenomenon: Imitation of Ashkenazi Haredi Jewry or a rejection of Mapai secularization of the 1950s?
* Black Panthers: Remembering Wadi Salib.
* "Parshat Yildai Teiman", the kidnapping of Yemenite and other immigrant infants in 1949 and the early 50s in Israel.

* The Sephardi origins and motifs of Ashkenazi cantorial music
* Jewish genealogy: Ashkenazi Jewry discovering Sephardi roots

* Divided families and destinies: North African Jewish migration to France verses Israel
* The Iraqi Jewish diaspora; continued diaspora life, rejection of Israel, or counter-reaction to past negative acculturation in Israel?

* Mizrachi Radicals during and after Soviet Communism
* Sephardi/Oriental museums and identity
* The "others" of the Jewish others - Ethiopian Jews, Anusim, Karaites, Samaritans, & Lost Tribes and their education
* The Sephardi and Mizrachi experience in Muslim lands; a bridge to peace in the Middle East?

Paper proposals are welcome in English, French, and Hebrew. Panel proposals are also welcome. Proposals can also be in format of short dramatic productions, pedagogical presentations, films, art and ethnographic exhibitions, and musical concerts.

Please send a one page abstract, with details of professional or communal involvement, your address, fax, e-mail, and contact information by February 28, 2002, and all other correspondence to:

Yitzchak Kerem
"Sefarad, the Sephardic Newsletter"
PO Box 10642
Jerusalem 91102
Tel:972-2-5795595, 972-54-870316

The Conference Organizers

Dr. Shalva Weil Yitzchak Kerem
Education Department Editor
Ben Gurion University of the Negev "Sefarad, the Sephardic
Beer Sheva, Israel Newsletter"
The Hebrew University of
PO Box 10642
Jerusalem 91102
4. Query: Number of Ladino Books Published Worldwide (Sheynin)

From: Hayim Sheynin at
Date: 11/19/01 5:57 PM

Dear Aviva:

I know sources you cited. However my own experience in bibliographic work with Jewish books gives me an idea that all the titles in Ladino (including books and periodicals, counting different editions of Bible, Meam Loez, prayer books, kinot, coplas and alegrias de Purim, and Haggadahs) by no means going over 3,000. There is no collection in the world that holds over 1,200 items in Ladino even in JNUL, Makhon Ben-Tsvi or Harvard University. One of my ambitions was to publish Otsar Sifre Ladino, and I did a lot of work in Russia, Israel and the USA with Ladino collections. Even so I was able to collect close to 2,000 bibliographic records. I examined all existing bibliographies of Ladino printed books and manuscripts. I know you had similar experience while composing your catalogue. According to my mind 5,000 number is an absolute fantasy. I discussed the problem with Isaac Rafael Molkho z"l in Jerusalem in 1972 or 1973 and he agreed with my estimate (ca. 3,000). Prof. Nehemya Alloni z"l even didn't believe that there are 2,000 books in Ladino. He said there are no more that 1,500 such books. According to my opinion, you should state that there are up to 3,000 Ladino books.

Best regards,

Dr. Hayim Y. Sheynin
Adjunct Professor of Jewish Literature
Head of Reference Services
Tuttleman Library of Gratz College
7605 Old York Rd.
Melrose Park, PA 19027

tel. 215 635-7300, ext. 161 fax: 215 635-7320
5. Introducing Tamara Lucas to the List (Lucas)

[Editor's note: The Discussion List welcome Tamara Lucas!]

From: LUCAS, Tamara <>
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 3:17 AM

I am not active (although I am interested in) in Jewish Studies therefore I think my biography would be of limited interest, but by way of context for you, I work in Marketing at OUP in Oxford and am responsible for promoting the journal, *Modern Judaism*. My own background is anthropology, and I am sure I will find items of interest in the discussions hosted by your list!

With best regards,
Tamara Lucas

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