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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List - December 18, 2005

Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List

Editor/Moderator: Aviva Ben-Ur <aben-ur(at)>

Week of Sunday, December 18, 2005 (17 Kislev 5766)


For archived issues see:



1. Syrian-Jewish Pizmonim (Berg)

2. Visual Archive of Yemeni Jewry (Ben-Abraham and Ben-Ur)

3. New Class at Florida International University: Jews in Arab Lands (Zohar)

4. Fellowship Opportunity: Hadassah-Brandeis Institute on Jews and Gender (Olins)

5.  The Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop in

the History of the Jewish Book (Kiron)

6. Historic Judeo-Spanish Synagogue of Paris Endangered (Rahmani)

7. Ladino Music Group Receives National, Televised Recognition (Paloma)


1. Syrian-Jewish Pizmonim (Berg)

Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 09:52:02 -0500

From: ASF-Sephardic House <sephardichouse(at)>

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: As this event has already past, it is posted for the sake of sharing the latest scholarship on Syrian Jewish musicology.]

The American Sephardi Federation presents “Syrian-Jewish Pizmonim,” presented by Dr. Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music, Department of Music, Harvard University. December 19, at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street - New York City, Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

This presentation was part of the American Jewish Icons national lecture series sponsored by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture with major support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information and to participate in the conversation, go to

See also: and <>

Syrian Jewish immigrants to America brought with them the proud tradition of pizmonim, hymns written in Hebrew and set to a melody often taken from popular Arab music. These pizmon incorporate into their lyrics family names and information about life events for which they are composed. Dr. Shelemay's ethnographic perspective reveals much about the history of this immigrant community and its unique musical traditions.


2. Visual Archive of Yemeni Jewry (Ben-Abraham and Ben-Ur)

Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 06:11:33 -0800 (PST)

From: DAVID BEN-ABRAHAM <davidbenabraham(at)>

Readers may be interested in the following visual archive of Yemeni Jewry:

which leads you to:

It includes the earliest photos taken of Yemeni Jews.  The editor, David Ben-Abraham, may be contacted at his email address above.

Mr. Ben-Abraham has also translated excerpts from the Hebrew.  This may be accessed, with his permission, by clicking here. We thank Mr. Ben-Abraham for his generosity.

Aviva Ben-Ur


3. New Class at Florida International University: Jews in Arab Lands (Zohar)

Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 09:26:59 -0500

From: Sephardic and Oriental Studies Program <sephardi(at)>

New Class! - Jews and Muslims - Register Now!

Jews and Muslims (Listed as: Special Topics- The Jews of Arab Lands)

REL 4937 / REL 5937

Hybrid Class, Half Online!

Spring 2006

Undergraduate: Thursdays, 6:30 - 7:30 PM at BBC

Graduate: Thursdays, 6:30 - 9:00 PM at BBC

In order to understand the present, first we must comprehend the past.  Starting with the rise of Islam in the 7th century, we will examine the relationship between Jews and Muslims over the course of several centuries in a wide variety of lands. What enabled a Golden Age of relative peace between the three monotheistic faiths to arise? How does the past influence what we are experiencing today between Jews and Muslims in modern times? By examining primary texts in translation taken from various fields of study-history, poetry, philosophy, mysticism, biblical commentary, and law-we will discover surprising aspects of both Islam and Judaism often overlooked in today's highly politicized climate.

REGISTER NOW! For details, contact Prof. Zion Zohar at (305) 919-5610 or by email at zoharz(at)

Zion Zohar


4. Fellowship Opportunity: Hadassah-Brandeis Institute on Jews and Gender (Olins)

Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 09:30:15 -0500

From: HJ Newsletter <hjnews(at)OISE.UTORONTO.CA>

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute develops fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research and artistic projects.

 The HBI Scholar-in-Residence program allows scholars, writers and communal professionals to produce significant work in the area of Jewish women's and gender studies while being freed from their regular institutional duties.   Applicants outside the United States, or who propose a project with a strong international focus, are encouraged to apply.

 Scholars-in-Residence receive a $3,000 monthly stipend and office space at the Brandeis University Women's Studies Research Center.  Residencies range from 3 months to a full academic year.

 To Apply: Send a letter of introduction, a detailed project proposal, a curriculum vitae and three professional references to:  Debby Olins, Program Manager, The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, MS 079/Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454-9110.

Deadline: February 1, 2006

For further information contact Debby Olins at dolins(at)

Debby Olins


5.  The Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop in

the History of the Jewish Book (Kiron)

The Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Library and the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, are pleased to announce the sixth annual Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop to be held on May 7-8 (Sunday- Monday), 2006, at CAJS.

In a slight departure from previous years, this year's Workshop will be led by two current fellows at CAJS, Professors Chava Turniansky and Joseph Hacker, both of the Hebrew University, each of whom will teach one day of the Workshop.  Professor Turniansky’s topic will be the early Yiddish Book, and will cover both the manuscript age and the early printed book through the beginning of the 16th century as well as illustrated Yiddish books.  Professor Hacker will deal with the Jewish printed book in the Sephardic world with particular emphasis upon the early Ottoman Empire, including books in Ladino.

 The workshop is open to professors and independent scholars, professional librarians in the field of Jewish and related studies, and advanced graduate students in Jewish Studies.  Attendance at previous workshops is not a prerequisite for admission.

 Because much of the Workshop will be devoted to the reading of Hebrew texts like colophons, it is necessary that all participants be abl to read non-vocalized Hebrew texts.

 For faculty and professionals, tuition is $250.  In addition to attendance and all materials for the workshop, the tuition includes two or three nights in a hotel (double-occupancy) for the nights of May 6 and 7 (with the option of May 5), and all meals and refreshments (all kosher) during the course of the workshop.

 Graduate students may apply for a full scholarship to the workshop.  N.B. To apply for the scholarship, a graduate student should write us giving the details of his or her academic program and a brief statement explaining how the workshop will further his or her academic studies.  S/he should also ask a faculty advisor to write us a letter of recommendation on the student's behalf.

 Attendance is limited.  If you are interested in attending the workshop, please notify us immediately.  A non-refundable deposit of $100 must be received by Jan. 15, and full payment by March 1. Please address all correspondence to:

 Lehmann Workshop

 c/o Jewish Studies Program

 711 Williams Hall

 255 S. 36th Street

 Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305



 The Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop in the History of the Jewish Book has been made possible by a generous contribution from the Manfred and Anne Lehmann Foundation along with grants from Mr. Albert Friedberg, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, and the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation.

Arthur Kiron

Curator of Judaica Collections

University of Pennsylvania Library

3420 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

Tel: (215) 573-7431

Fax: (215) 898-0559


6. Historic Judeo-Spanish Synagogue of Paris Endangered (Rahmani)

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: as this List does not promote advocacy, this message is posted to spread awareness about a historic monument of Parisian Sephardim.]

Date: 15 Dec 2005 13:28:20 -0000

From: Moise Rahmani <moise.rahmani(at)>

via: losmuestros(at)


«al syete» la maison judeo espagnole à  Paris

 La première synagogue séfarade des Judéo Espagnols des Balkans a vu le jour à Paris en 1913 au 7 rue Popincourt dans le 11e arrondissement.

 Ce lieu de mémoire des Juifs originaires de ces communautés, qui appartient aujourd'hui au Consistoire de Paris, est menacé de disparition au profit de la mono

activité textile du quartier, en dépit des efforts soutenus de la communauté judéo espagnole.

 C'est pourquoi se créait le 18 Octobre 2004 l'association de sauvegarde du 7 rue Popincourt CENTRE CULTUREL POPINCOURT "AL SYETE", qui souhaiterait fonder la Maison  Judéo Espagnole à Paris, en faisant de ce lieu un centre ouvert à tous pour développer et diffuser notre langue, notre culture et nos traditions, qui représentent une grande page de l’histoire de  la Diaspora juive.

 Nous vous invitons donc à venir nous rejoindre pour appuyer nos démarches auprès du Consistoire de Paris pour préserver cet endroit: témoin de la vie judéo espagnole à Paris, y compris pendant la sombre période de l'occupation.

 Plus vous serez nombreux à signer cette pétition, et plus l'impact de notre action sera renforcé.

 Les signataires: J. Baran-Mitrani, S. Baruch, D. Haïm, H. Mallah, M. Metzger, G; Nadler, C; Romi, A. Rosilio, S. Soulam.

Moise Rahmani


7. Ladino Music Group Receives National, Televised Recognition (Paloma)

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 07:41:41 -0800

From: Vanessa Paloma Stroe <cantos(at)>

My Ladino group, “Flor de Serena,” was on national TV last week as part of a program on music and spirituality. It was a 5-7 minute segment about Sephardim and our music and I wanted to send it out so the people on the Sephardi/Mizrahi Caucus would be able to see the clip that is on the internet.  Here is the information:

Please take a look at the beautiful job they did depicting what my group and I did at the World Festival for Sacred Music in September.  

 Flor de Serena on

 Link to web page for December 15, 2005 - New Morning (scroll down to Nurturing Spirit):

 Direct link to the video (copy and paste into your web browser - you must have RealPlayer installled):


 Nurturing Spirit

Starting two thousand years ago, Jews were scattered all over the globe in what's known as "the Diaspora." But their communities stayed together through the roughest of times thanks to the traditions of prayer and music. Spanish and Portuguese jews spoke a language known as "Ladino." Founded by singer Vanessa Paloma and guitarist Jordan Charnofsky, Flor de Serena (whose name in English means "siren's flower") keeps alive unique texts and melodies which have been meticulously passed down through generations of the Sephardic Diaspora. Flor de Serena performs Sephardic music all over the world, including The World Festival of Sacred Music, held in Los Angeles every three years. In the Sephardic culture, the music was about daily living, and the singers were almost always women, who sang while performing household tasks. Find out more about this rich musical tradition, and about the sacred music festival at

Vanessa Paloma

Singer and Performance Artist

[ed.: slight edit]

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