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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List - November 9, 2003

Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List
Editor/Moderator: Aviva Ben-Ur <aben-ur(at)>
Week of Sunday, November 9, 2003 (14 Heshvan 5764)



1. Query: Seeking a Sephardic Caribbean Novel (Daccarett)

2. Gloria Mound on “Hidden Jews of Cuba and Puerto Rico” at FIU (Zohar)

3. New Publication: *The House of Jacob* (Paul)

4. New Book: *Gifts for the Poor: Maimonides’s Treatise on Tzedaka (Meszler)

5. Association for Jewish Studies: 5th Annual Conference (Katchen)

6. Koret Foundation Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award (Singer)

1. Query: Seeking a Sephardic Caribbean Novel (Daccarett)

From: PaulaDacc(at)
Date: October 1, 2003

Although the plot is cenetered in inland Medillin -and the characters are Ashkenazi- *Flora’s Suitcase by Dalia Rabinovich reflects the experience of an immigrant generation for whom the Caribbean (and its main fluvial artery) was the requisite point of entry into Colombia.

Paul Daccarett

2. Gloria Mound on “Hidden Jews of Cuba and Puerto Rico” at FIU (Zohar)

From: Zion Zohar <Zohar(at)>

Florida International University

Institute for Judaic and Near Eastern Studies,
President Navon Program for the Study of

Sephardic and Oriental Jewry,Yovel and Hillel are very proud to present:
"Hidden Jews of Cuba and Puerto Rico"  

Wednesday November 12th at 6:00 PM
Biscayne Bay Campus AC1-327

By:  Gloria Mound
Executive Director, Casa Shalom
Gloria Mound is the Executive Director of Casa Shalom, the Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies - a center for the study and collection of material on individual and collective secret Jews around the world: Jews of Meshed, Ireland, Sao Tome, New Mexico, South America, Cuba and other Caribbean islands, Spain, Portugal, and the Balearic Islands. Ms. Mound has worked in this area for over 30 years and is based in Israel.

The lecture is free and open to the public! 

For more information, call Dr. Zion Zohar, from the President Navon Program for the Study of Sephardic & Oriental Jewry,

at: (305) 919-5610 or by email

Directions:  From Miami-Take I-95 north to 135th St., go east to US-1, go north to 151st St., turn right, continue on the road, and the campus is on the left after the electronic sign.  From Ft. Lauderdale - Take I-95 south and exit on Miami Gardens Drive, turn left at the light going to US-1, turn right on US-1 to NE 151st St., turn left, continue on the road, and the campus is on the left after the electronic sign.  

3. New Publication: *The House of Jacob* (Paul)

From: DavidPaulPress(at)
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 13:03:09 -0500 (EST)

I have just published (in English) in England *The House of Jacob* a memoir by a French academic Sylvie Courtine -Denamy. Here is the description:

House of Jacob
Sylvie Courtine-Denamy
Touching and beautifully written book where the author, a French academic, traces her family history of exile back to the Spanish expulsion of 1492. The family's journey leads her to Salonika, Istanbul, Paris, America and Israel and to Auschwitz. But through all that time the Sephardic culture, foods and customs and the Judaeo-Spanish language of Ladino were never forgotten and are richly recreated here. Courtine-Denamy shows that Ladino is as vibrant as Hebrew. In the introduction, Sylvie Kristeva criticises Israel for exclusively promoting Hebrew and not doing more to prevent the Ladino language from dying. Translated from the French by William Sayers.

For more information see

Yours Sincerely,
David Paul

David Paul Publishing
29 Redston Road
London N8 7HL
England, UK

tel office      + 44 (0) 20 7482 8820
tel evenings + 44 (0) 20 8347 9857

4. New Book: *Gifts for the Poor: Maimonides’s Treatise on Tzedaka (Meszler)

Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 18:14:47 -0500
Via:  Ariella Brown <hjmod(at)>

The College of William and Mary just released a Hebrew-English annotated translation of Moses Maimonides' treatise on tzedakah, *Gifts for the Poor.*  This section of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah also describes the philosophy and history of Jewish giving.  Beginning with legislation found in the Torah, Maimonides traces the origins of Jewish philanthropy from the individual Israelite farmer to Maimonides' contemporary scene
where tzedakah had become a communal obligation.

The translator's introduction to the treatise compares
Maimonides' rationale for giving tzedakah to other rabbinic literature as well as his own statements in the Guide of the Perplexed.  Rather than see tzedakah as a commandment to be fulfilled for a divine reward, as described by earlier Jewish thinkers, Maimonides views giving tzedakah as a way of ennobling the giver on a path of virtue.

       This release follows many other fine volumes in Jewish Studies from the Department of Religion of the College of William and Mary, edited by Marc Lee Raphael.  Mail order to:
    Marc Lee Raphael, Department of Religion
     The College of William and Mary
     P. O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187
Thank you,
Joseph B. Meszler

5. Association for Jewish Studies: 5th Annual Conference (Katchen)

From: ajs(at)
Date: Thursday, November 6, 2003 6:23 AM

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: The Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus is scheduled for Monday, December 22, 12:15-1:15 p.m. If you would like to order a kosher meal, please do so through the AJS website (the information is below). Attending the Caucus is, as always, free.]

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The following letter contains important information about the Conference Program (including information on registration, hotel, etc.), the Positions Bulletin, and the Fall issue of AJS Perspectives, all of which are now available online on the AJS website. Details of the AJS move to NYC will be forthcoming in a separate message in the days ahead.

Online Program Schedule:
We should like to bring to your attention the posting on our web site of the program for our 35th Annual Conference, to be held at the Sheraton Boston from Sunday morning December 21 through Tuesday afternoon December 23. The Program Book showing meeting room locations is in press and will be mailed to members later this month. An Adobe Acrobat version of the schedule as printed in the book is also available for downloading at
A set of abstracts for the many presentations will be available online next week--the abstracts will be available only online, in fact.

Online Registration and Badges; Meals; Child Care
As you will see, the conference features a very rich set of presentations over three days. We encourage you to register as soon as possible via our secure server and to plan your travel and meals to take maximum advantage of all the offerings. Badges will be mailed on or about Dec. 1 to paid-up attendees with US mailing addresses; paid-up attendees coming from outside the USA will be able to secure their badges immediately upon arrival. Badges must be worn throughout the entire conference by all attendees. For your protection, our security staff will be asked to remove any unauthorized persons from the conference area.

To register online, please use our secure server at
<> prior to Nov. 20th. After that, all registration will take place on site at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
To reserve meals, please use the link above prior to Nov. 20th. No reservations for meals will be available after that date or at the hotel.

For your information, The AJS Parents Childcare Co-op, which has no affiliation with the Association for Jewish Studies and for which AJS takes no responsibility, is arranging for child care services to be supplied for a fee on the premises in the hotel. Full details may be had by visiting
Discount Travel:
For travel, please call or write the Brandeis office of Navigant International at 1-800-370-6664 [from outside the USA: 617-451-4200] FAX: 617-451-4222 and mention Brandeis and the Association for Jewish Studies. Navigant offers special pricing on American Airlines and the US Airways Shuttle.

Online Hotel Reservations:
For hotel accommodations, the room rate of $114 [with a limited number of rooms for students at $102] is guaranteed by the Sheraton Boston through Nov. 20th. Phone Sheraton Toll-Free Reservations (800) 325-3535 or call the hotel directly at (617) 236-2000 and ask for the Association for Jewish Studies Rate. You can also register online by going to
and following the instructions there.

Positions Bulletin–New Password
New positions are being announced constantly. As such, we will have no printed edition of the bulletin, so please consult the complete set of listings on our protected site.
N.B. The new year brings with it a change in username and password that affords AJS members exclusive access to the listings. Henceforth for 2003-4, please use the following:
USERNAME: [snip]
PASSWORD: [snip]
All letter must be typed UPPERCASE. Best wishes to all job seekers.

AJS Perspectives: The Newsletter of the Association for Jewish Studies
The Fall issue is now available online to members. Please use the same set of USERNAME and PASSWORD to access the Adobe Acrobat file. The printed version is to be mailed to you next week.

Please visit our site regularly as the conference approaches for news of special events and further details about conference activities.

The AJS Move
Shortly before our New York office opens as the primary AJS location, we will send you a separate message with up-to-date contact information. Please be on the lookout for the details.

We look forward to greeting you in Boston.


Aaron Katchen
Outgoing Executive Director
Rona Sheramy
Incoming Executive Director
6. Koret Foundation Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award (Singer)

From: Stephanie Singer <smsinger(at)>
Date: Friday, November 14, 2003 12:29 PM

Dear Professor Aviva Ben-Ur --

The San Francisco-based Koret Foundation recently announced guidelines forits 2nd annual Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award. I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by sharing this information with members of your discussion group. Many thanks in advance.

Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award

One writer whose work contains Jewish themes will be awarded $25,000 and will spend three months in residence at Stanford University. The residency allows time for writing, teaching one course at Stanford, and giving several workshops in collaboration with Jewish community organizations in the SF-Bay Area. Non-U.S. residents are invited to apply provided they meet eligibility requirements below.

Applicants must be 35 years of age or younger and have published no more than one book at the time of application. This award is for fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Scholarly work will not be considered.

The application deadline is December 1, 2003. To apply, please submit: a description of your work in progress not exceeding two pages in length; a c.v. not exceeding three pages in length; and an application coversheet printed from our Website: We do not accept electronic submissions. Applications will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges. This award is a project of the Koret Jewish Book Awards.

Additional information may be found on our Website:

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Stephanie Singer
Programs Manager
Koret Institute
415.882.7740 T
415.882.7775 F


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