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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List - June 29, 2003

Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List
Editor/Moderator: Aviva Ben-Ur <>
Week of Sunday, June 29, 2003 (29 Sivan 5763)


1. New Publication and Photographic Exhibit: Sephardim in the Holocaust (Santa Puche)

2. New Publication: *Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943* (Cohen)

3. New Publication: Leon Sciaky's *Farewell to Salonica: City at the Crossroads* (Schofield)

4. New Publication: Samuel Mordoh, *El Aba: De Salonica a Sefarad* (Tirocinio)

5. New Publication from Argentina: “The Sephardic Community of Chacarita-Colegiales” (Wyman)

6. New Publication: Books and Bombs in Buenos Aires: Borges, Gerchunoff, and Argentine Jewish Writing (Aizenberg)

7. Article on Central Asia’s “Mountain Jews” (Jordan)

8. Call for Papers: 2004 Biennial Scholars’ Conference on American Jewish History (Sarna)

9. Call for Papers: Second International Conference on Women and the Holocaust (Herzog)

10. Announcement: Memorial on Sephardic Victims of the Holocaust (Sephiha)


1. New Publication and Photographic Exhibit: Sephardim in the Holocaust (Santa Puche)

From: salsan <>
Date: Friday, May 16, 2003 3:38 PM

Estimados amigos,

De nuevo me complazco en anunciaros que durante el mes octubre tendrá lugar
en Yecla (Murcia), España, una exposición fotográfica sobre el Holocausto
(Shoa) en la sala de exposiciones del Pub Gardenia.

La exposición está dividida en cinco bloques: vida judía en Europa antes de
la II Guerra, deportación, vida cotidiana en el campo, exterminio y

Varios colegios ya han anunciado su visita. Durante la misma será presentado el libro 'Los Sefardíes y el Holocausto: libro de los testimonios' (vol. I) cuyo autor soy yo mismo.

En breve os enviaré más detalles.
Gracias por vuestra atención.

Dr. SANTA PUCHE, Salvador
Tf: 968-792197
Fax: 968-752131
2. New Publication: *Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943* (Cohen)

From: Mark Cohen <>
Date: Thursday, June 26, 2003 3:12 PM

*Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943* focuses on one model Balkan Sephardic community to tell the story of the
Ottoman Sephardic Jews.

*Last Century* is a social history of Monastir’s Sephardic community. It
tells the story of the community's last period of traditional life
(1839-63), its turn toward Western culture (1864-1918), embrace of Zionism
(1919-39), and destruction in the Holocaust. Through the in-depth study of
this model community, Last Century provides a rare look at how the world of
the Balkan Sephardim was radically changed and brutally ended.

The first chapter was published in the Turkish Studies Association Bulletin
(Fall 2000), and other articles are forthcoming in the Journal of Jewish
Studies (Spring 2004) and History of Photography (Summer 2003).

Special features include a collection of Sephardic folklore in
Judeo-Spanish and English translation, more than 80 rare photographs and
illustrations, and the complete list of the Monastir Jews killed in the

Published by the Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and
Culture, NY.

ISBN: 1-886857-06-7 Library of Congress Control Number: 2003103192
432pp Hardcover with dustjacket. Maps, photos & illustrations.

Mark Cohen

3. New Publication: Leon Sciaky's *Farewell to Salonica: City at the Crossroads* (Schofield)

From: Will Schofield, Paul Dry Books
Via: Rachel Simon <rsimon@Princeton.EDU>
Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 8:30 AM

At the crossroads of East and West, Salonica (now Thessaloniki, Greece s
second-largest city) was an oasis in a swirl of conflicting powers and
interests, a colorful world of varied peoples. A Turkish territory until
1912, the city was an economic center of the Ottoman Empire and a cultural
center of Sephardic Judaism. In this memoir, Leon Sciaky writes about
growing up in the vibrant community that flourished in Salonica at the turn
of the twentieth century. He introduces us to the Turkish sheiks and
dervishes, Sephardic rabbis, Hungarian revolutionists, Bulgarian farmers,
Greek priests, Kurdish grocers, Albanian woodcutters, and French
headmasters who populated this unique Balkan world.

Farewell to Salonica gives today s readers a fascinating view into a nearly
forgotten world. When it was first published (in 1946), the New York Times
called it a fresh and charming book that throws a kindly light on a sector
of human life unknown to most Americans.

You can read more about the book at our webpage:


Will Schofield, Paul Dry Books

Farewell to Salonica: City at the Crossroads by Leon Sciaky

June 2003 / Autobiography & History

$14.95 Trade Paper / ISBN 1-58988-002-1

5-3/8" x 8-1/2" / 299 pp. / Maps & Photographs

Contact: Paul Dry

215.231.9939 /

«Distributed by Independent Publishers Group»

4. New Publication: Samuel Mordoh, *El Aba: De Salonica a Sefarad* (Tirocinio)

From: Tirocinio

We are pleased to inform you of the publication of a new book
Samuel MORDOH, El Aba. De Salonica a Sefarad, 330 p., ilust. (22x15)

ISBN 84-930570-70-4-5.

The chronicle of a Jewish Sephardic family from Saloniki. Part of it died
in the extermination camps. The other escaped from deportation and flew to
Southern Greece. The partizans helped them to travel to Turkey. From there,
they went to Israel.

A very important piece for future generations to reconstruct the history of
Sephardim during those times.

For more details see


5. New Publication from Argentina: “The Sephardic Community of Chacarita-Colegiales” (Wyman)

From: ha-Safran
Via: Rachel Simon <rsimon@Princeton.EDU>
Date: Monday, June 23, 2003 10:37 AM

(Forwarded from another listserve--descriptions are not mine)

Dear Friends,

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: this message edited]

2.- The IWO Foundation of Buenos Aires - Argentina edited its first two
"Cuadernos del IWO - YIVO heftn (IWO booklets). The first one is the
corrected full text plus bibliography version of the conference Graciela
Ben-Dror gave last January at our premises on the subject "El catolicismo
argentino y los judíos a la luz del Vaticano durante los años del
Holocausto" (Argentine catholicism, the Vatican standpoint and the jews
during the Holocaust") It is a 25 pages very well documented booklet which
is a must for those interested in such a sensitive subject. Graciela
Ben-Dror is a very well known historian from the University of Haifa.
The second booklet is about the Sephardic community of the
Chacarita-Colegiales quarter in Buenos Aires ( "La comunidad sefaradí en el
barrio de Chacarita-Colegiales" ) written by the urban historian Jorge
Eduardo Teso.

Both booklets can be acquired at Fundación IWO - Ayacucho 483 - (1026)
Buenos Aires - Argentina

Dan Wyman, Books
47 Dartmouth St. Springfield, MA 01109 USA ph: 413.846.6357 e-fax: 208.567.8926

6. New Publication: Books and Bombs in Buenos Aires: Borges, Gerchunoff, and Argentine Jewish Writing (Aizenberg)

A courageous study of cultural resistance to xenophobia and terrorism through the prism of influential writings by Borges, Gerchunoff, and their successor Latin American Jewish writers.

On July 18, 1994, the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), which housed major Argentine Jewish organizations and served as a storehouse of Hebrew, Yiddish, and Argentine Jewish documents and literature, was bombed by terrorists. Although over 80 people were killed and the bomb leveled a city block in downtown Buenos Aires, the perpetrators were never found.

Taking the bombing as her starting point, Edna Aizenberg crafts an unusual and powerful study of two canonical Argentine writers, Jorge Luis Borges and Alberto Gerchunoff. Examining in particular the literary and cultural reverberations in other authors of Gerchunoff’s 1910 story collection, The Jewish Gauchos and Borges’ Judaically inspired work, Aizenberg delves into the primary issues of Argentine and Latin American Jewish cultural production: Holocaust writing, resistance to dictatorship, pluralism and identity, and the position of the writer-scholar as a direct and vital participant in the transformation of culture and society. Situating Latin American Jewish literature within the multiple contexts of the Holocaust, postmodernism, and postcolonialism, Aizenberg argues that a literature celebrating pastiche, hybridity, and carnivalization is more democratic than literature that does not. She makes a brave case for the power of the pen in a contemporary world dominated by the power of the sword.

Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, 2003

7. Article on Central Asia’s “Mountain Jews” (Jordan)

Via: Rachel Simon

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 08:34:14 -0400 (EDT)
To: Amerikan Association Of Jewish Friends of TURKEY <>
Subject: Mountain Jews? dwindle and struggle to survive in Azerbaijan

“Mountain Jews” dwindle and struggle to survive in Azerbaijan
By Michael J. Jordan

KUBA, Azerbaijan, June 12 (JTA) ? Through fog and drizzle, several dozen
Jewish men in black overcoats and leather jackets trudge up a steep,
winding path on their way to a hilltop cemetery.

Pallbearers carry the wooden plank that bears the deceased, a man named
Reuven Amirjanov. As is customary, his body is wrapped in a hand-woven
carpet splashed with colors and patterns.

Despite the muddy ascent, the mourners beat a swift pace.

Jews have been making the trek to the cemetery overlooking the village of
Kuba for some 250 years. Amirjanov had moved to the Caspian city of
Sumgait long ago, but had asked to be buried at his birthplace.

?He wanted to be buried in Kuba with his ancestors,? one mourner says.
?His sons honored his wish.?

Kuba may be one of the world?s last shtetls, but for the ?Mountain Jews?
of Azerbaijan, Kuba is their Jerusalem. Historically isolated in the
rugged, hardscrabble wilds of the southern Caucasus, Kuba and other
villages across the region have spawned a unique breed of Diaspora Jews.

Hardened by centuries of self-defense and self-reliance, and free of the
anti-Semitism and pogroms that plagued the Jews of Eastern Europe, these
mountain Jews are a proud, tough-minded, patriarchal lot. Respected as
horsemen and marksmen, some of them were among the first fighters in
Jewish Palestine.

But every year, fewer Jews are living ? and dying ? here.

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: for full article see:]

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8. Call for Papers: 2004 Biennial Scholars’ Conference on American Jewish History (Sarna)

John McClymer <>
From: Jonathan D. Sarna []
Thursday, May 29, 2003 11:27 AM



JUNE 6-8, 2004

Sponsored by the Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American
Jewish History

The 2004 Biennial Scholars' Conference on American Jewish History will
meet in Washington, DC, at American University and at the Library of
Congress, June 6-8, 2004. The conference is sponsored by the American
Jewish Historical Society, the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the
American Jewish Archives, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives
and Records Administration, which are the partners of the Commission for
Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History, and by American
University's Jewish Studies Program. Proposals for sessions and
individual papers in diverse areas of the American Jewish experience
are invited. The former are especially encouraged. Since 2004 marks the
fiftieth anniversary of the famed Peekskill Conference on the Writing
of American Jewish History, the committee especially invites papers that
reexamine that conference and the themes that it raised. Graduate
students completing dissertations may submit proposals accompanied by
a letter of recommendation from their advisor. One-page paper abstracts,
panel proposals, and a short biography (250 words) are due October 1,

Please submit to:

Prof. Pamela S. Nadell Program Committee Chair
2004 Scholars' Conference on American Jewish History
Jewish Studies Program
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20016-8042

9. Call for Papers: Second International Conference on Women and the Holocaust (Herzog)

From: Esther Herzog: <>
Rachel Simon <rsimon@Princeton.EDU>
Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 8:46 AM

Call for papers/women and holocaust/the 2 international conference

Beit Berl College invites researchers from the relevant academic fields
(history, anthropology, sociology, etc.), to The Second International
Conference on Women and the Holocaust. The subject is: The Family during
the Holocaust - Gender Perspectives. The conference will take place
between the 13th and the 15th of October 2003, in Israel.
Please submit your proposals in English or in Hebrew with one page
abstract, until the 31st of July 2003. To: Dr. Esther Herzog. Beit Berl
College, Beit Berl Post Office 44905. or by E-Mail:
10. Announcement: Memorial on Sephardic Victims of the Holocaust (Sephiha)

From: Vidal Sephiha <>
Date: Saturday, May 10, 2003 1:07 PM


JEAA ( Judéo-Espagnol A Auschwitz ) par Dr. Michel AZARIA

En mars 2000, le professeur émérite, fondateur de la chaire de Judéo-espagnol à Paris 3 et survivant de la Shoah, Haïm-Vidal Sephiha enregistre à Auschwitz-Birkenau en compagnie d‚Anita Lasker Wallfish une émission pour France-Culture. Il y constate que parmi les 20 dalles du Mémorial d'Auschwitz-Birkenau, il manque cruellement celle en judéo-espagnol, langue maternelle de beaucoup des 120.000 à 160.000 victimes juives sépharades originaires des Balkans ou d'Europe occidentale et notamment de France et de Belgique.

Le 17 août 2000, le directeur du musée d'état d'Auschwitz-Birkenau écrit dans une lettre qu'il n'est "pas possible" de revoir la décision sur les dalles. Cette position est à nouveau confirmée le 18 mai 2001: "() le Conseil (Conseil International d'Auschwitz) a soutenu sa décision précédente (début des années 90) décisive sur le nombre de dalles ()".

Haïm-Vidal Sephiha fonde avec Michel Azaria, l'association J.E.A.A. (Judéo-Espagnol A Auschwitz). Ils lancent le 13 septembre 2000 une campagne internationale de pétition sur papier et par Internet afin d'obtenir la dalle supplémentaire.

JEAA a recueilli les signatures de 4.600 personnes (dont 26% par Internet) vivant dans 47 pays; France: 36%, USA: 17%, Belgique: 13%, Argentine: 8%, Espagne: 6%. JEAA a également reçu le soutien de près de 70 organisations de 11 pays dont 3 organisations fédératrices nationales (ex: en France, le CRIF). Lors de la signature sur le site (, il est possible d'y inscrire des commentaires. Une copie de près de 250 commentaires souvent très émouvants sous forme d'un recueil relié de plus de 1.500 lignes sera remis à 5 destinataires: le Musée d'Auschwitz-Birkenau, le Mémorial de Yad Vashem (Jérusalem), le Museo Djudio (Musée juif) de Salonique, le ministère de la Défense / DPMA et le Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine.

Suite à un mémorandum rédigé par le JEAA, lu et discuté lors de la réunion du 10 septembre 2001 du Conseil International d'Auschwitz, la décision de principe d'apposition d'une 21ème dalle en judéo-espagnol est prise. Le JEAA est chargé du financement de la totalité de l'opération et de l'organisation de la cérémonie d'inauguration.

Après deux voyages sur place en 2002, l'inauguration a été fixée au lundi 24 mars 2003 au Mémorial d'Auschwitz-Birkenau. Le Consul Général des Etats-Unis à Cracovie a accepté l'invitation. Monsieur le Ministre de Villepin a indiqué que la France sera représentée (le Consulat Général de France à Cracovie est intervenu dans le projet pour sa résolution). Serge et Beate Klarsfeld seront présents.

Pour contribuer au travail de mémoire, le JEAA s'est engagé à réaliser 2 actions principales: 1. mise en place de la dalle; 2. rédaction et impression d'une publication, "Les Judéo-Espagnols, les chemins d'une communauté", en 2 éditions (français/judéo-espagnol et anglais /judéo-espagnol) qui sera distribuée en France, Grèce, Pologne, Israël, Etats-Unis etc.

JEAA bénéficie du soutien actif de la Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah (Présidente : Madame Simone Veil) et du Ministère de la Défense (Direction de la mémoire, du patrimoine et des archives).

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: contact Dr. Sephiha for the Ladino and French poetry recited there.]

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