Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List
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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List - January 27, 2008

Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List

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

Week of Sunday, January 27, 2008 (20 Shvat 5768)


For archived issues please visit:



1. Call for Papers: Correction on Sephardic Studies Discussion Group (Beckwith)

2. New Paperback Publication: _The Golden Age of Aragonese Jewry_ (Craddock)

3. New Publication: _Dictionary of Iberian Jewish and Converso Authors_ (Aben Ezra Ediciones)

4. New Publication: _Chimera: A Period of Madness_ (Bowman)

5. Readings on Jewish Identity in North America (Ben-Moshe)

6. Twelfth New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival (Winters)

7. Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Summer Fellowship (Isserman)

8. Query: Chocolate and New World Sephardic Jews (Bar-Hai)


1. Call for Papers: Correction on Sephardic Studies Discussion Group (Beckwith)

From: "Stacy N. Beckwith" <sbeckwit(at)carleton(dot)edu>

Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 20:32:36 -0600 (CST)

Correction: The post below, which appeared in the last issue, is a call for abstracts for the Sephardic Studies Discussion Group session at the upcoming MLA in San Francisco, 2008.

Stacy Beckwith

[ed: slight edit]

Call for Papers: Gender in Sephardic and Sephardist Literature (Beckwith)

From: "Stacy N. Beckwith" <sbeckwit(at)carleton(dot)edu>

Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 00:16:40 -0600 (CST)

Gender in Sephardic and Sephardist Literature

•            What are the roles of gender in modern Sephardic and/or Sephardist literature? (Sephardist writing re/imagines elements from historic Jewish Spain and integrates them into interpretations of a range of modern environments.)

•            Have representations or patterns of portraying Sephardic characters with distinct cross/gender traits confirmed, challenged, or complicated a group or a society’s collective memory or constitutive ideological views?

•            Together with, or beyond character design, have gendered aspects of Sephardic and/or Sephardist writing styles (literary language(s), structure…) contributed to discourse on memory and identity?

•            Can gender be a useful point of departure for comparing modern Sephardic and Sephardist literature?

Papers can involve any genre(s) in Sephardic and/or Sephardist literature – prose/ poetry/ drama. Please send a 250 word abstract by March 10th, 2008 to Stacy Beckwith, Associate Prof. of Hebrew, Carleton College. sbeckwit(at)carleton(dot)edu.


2. New Paperback Publication: _The Golden Age of Aragonese Jewry_ (Craddock)

From:             Ludo Craddock <ludo(at)littman(dot)co(dot)uk>

Date:             Mon, 21 Jan 2008 23:48:57 +0000

I am writing to let you know that we will publish four new paperbacks on 24 January, information on which is given below.  Further details can be found on the Littman website at

To order copies, please contact your usual supplier or the address given at the end of this message.

Thank you.

Ludo Craddock

Yom Tov Assis, _The Golden Age of Aragonese Jewry: Community and Society in the Crown of Aragon, 1213-1327_

The medieval Crown of Aragon reached the peak of its power and influence in the thirteenth century, and Jews took an active part in this expansion. In this detailed and meticulously researched study Yom Tov Assis deals with many important aspects of this period, which was truly a “Golden Age” in the history of Aragonese and Catalan Jews, both in terms of their relationship with the Crown and of their own cultural achievements.

400 pages, 2 maps, genealogy, paperback

978-1-904113-76-8   £21.95 / $34.95


3. New Publication: _Dictionary of Iberian Jewish and Converso Authors_ (Aben Ezra Ediciones)

From:             Peter Stern <pstern(at)library(dot)umass(dot)edu>

via: Aben Ezra Ediciones [mailto:abenezraediciones(at)telefonica(dot)net]

Date:             Wed, 23 Jan 2008 11:34:12 -0500

Anunciamos la aparición de una obra imprescindible para toda biblioteca o institución interesadas en el estudio del judaísmo español o en la historia de la España medieval:

We announce the appearance of an important new book on Spanish Jewry and Medieval Spain:

Norman Roth, _Dictionary of Iberian Jewish and Converso Authors_ (Madrid: Aben Ezra Ediciones, 2007), 765 pp. ISBN 978-84-88324-29-0. Precio: 50 Euros  (= $73 USA); [post certified for USA 20 Euros (= $29 USA); change of dollars 15 Euros (= $22 USA).

·         First complete catalogue of all the published writings of Jewish and converso authors of the medieval Iberian Peninsula

·         Also included are anonymous works on Talmud, philosophy, qabbalah, Bible and bibles printed by Jews in Spain and Portugal

·         An important reference tool for libraries, scholars and all who are interested in medieval Spanish and Jewish Culture

 *    El Prof. Norman Roth, un ferviente trabajador del judaísmo hispano, nos ofrece en esta obra un auténtico arsenal de datos, un formidable repertorio de información sobre los autores judíos hispanos, sus obras, sus ediciones, sus traducciones, sus estudios. En definitiva, proporciona al estudioso una herramienta de trabajo, un útil necesario e imprescindible para sus investigaciones y estudios.

[ed: slight edit]


4. New Publication: _Chimera: A Period of Madness_ (Bowman)

From: "STEVEN B. BOWMAN" <bowmans(at)uc(dot)edu>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <amend(at)BRANDEIS(dot)EDU>

Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 20:38:17 -0500

Isaac Bourla. _Chimera: A Period of Madness_ (New York: Published for Sephardic House by Bloch Publishing Co., 2007), 143 pages. Volume III in the Sephardi and Greek Holocaust Library. Series editor Steven Bowman. (Order from Sephardic House c/o American Sephardi Federation at the Center for Jewish History)

Isaac Bourla, a teenager from Salonika and perhaps the youngest Greek to be sent to Auschwitz, provides a poignant and accurate description of his camp experience that illuminates the Sephardi tragedy during World War II. Replete with pictures, this memoir introduces a new facet of the Greeks in the main concentration camps that murdered Greek Jews.

Steven Bowman

Judaic Studies

University of Cincinnati

Ohio 45221-0169



5. Twelfth New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival (Winters)

From:             Lynne Winters <lmwinters(at)asf(dot)cjh(dot)org>

Date:             Tue, 22 Jan 2008 18:05:54 -0500 (EST)

Here is the full schedule of the 12th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

Lynne Winters

[ed: slight edit]

All films at the Center for Jewish History. 15 West 16th Street, between Fifth and

Sixth Avenues. CJH Box Office 917.606.8200. Advanced tickets purchase strongly recommended.


7:30pm “I GOT NO JEEP AND MY CAMEL DIED.” U.S. Premiere, Director: Ehud Tomalak. Producers: Aida and Amos Michaeli. Israel, 2006, 65 mins. Hebrew w/English subtitles. Inspired by the Jewish masters of Iraqi music, the film portrays the musical journey of Yair Dalal, and his vow to carry on their vanishing legacy. Post-screening musical performance and discussion with Yair Dalal. Reception follows.


7:00pm “EXODUS: ADA'S DREAM.” North American Premiere / Tribute to Israel at 60. Reception follows. A presentation of the Centro Primo Levi in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy, the Consulate General of Israel, the Italian Cultural Institute and RAI Corporation.

9:30pm “FAMILY HEROES” (“Héros de la Famille”). NY Premiere - Director: Thierry Klifa.103 mins. French w/English subtitles.   Presented solely by the American Sephardi Federation.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11 at 3:00pm

“MORTGAGE” (“Mashkanta”). Directors: Tal Franit and Sharon Maymon. Israel, 2006, 55 mins. Hebrew w/English subtitles.

followed by

“BLACK OVER WHITE.” NY Premiere. Director: Tomer Heymann. Israel, 2007, 50 mins. Hebrew, Amharic w/English subtitles.


5:00pm and 7:30pm


Centro Primo Levi presents two programs of documentaries, television shorts, and fiction films exploring little-known aspects of Italian Jewish history and identity. Hosted by Natalia Indrimi with special guests. For a full program visit:


12:00pm “SALLAH SHABATI.” Tribute to Israel at 60. Director: Ephraim Kishon. Israel, 1964, 110 mins. Hebrew w/English subtitles. Post-screening discussion on the Bourekas film genre with Professor Yaron Shemer.

3:00pm “SOUVENIRS.” NY Premiere Directors: Shahar Cohen and Halil Efrat. Israel, 2006, 75 mins. Hebrew w/English subtitles.

4:30pm “OPERATION MURAL: CASABLANCA,” 1961. U.S. Premiere / Tribute to Israel at 60. Director: Yehuda Kaveh. Producer: Ronit Dor. Israel, 2007, 55 mins. Hebrew, English, French w/English subtitles. Post-screening discussion and reception with David Littman and Bat Ye'or.

6:30pm “THE JEWS OF LEBANON” (“le Petite Histoire des Juifs de Liban”). U.S. Premiere. Director: Yves Turquier. France/Lichtenstein, 2006, 77 mins. English, French, Spanish, Arabic w/English subtitles. Post-screening discussion with the filmmakers.

8:30pm “AVIVA MY LOVE” (“Aviva Ahuvati”). Director: Shemi Zarhin. Israel, 2006, 107 mins. Hebrew w/English subtitles.


5:00pm “THE LAST JEWS OF LIBYA.” Director: Vivienne Roumani-Denn. USA, 2007, 50 mins. Hebrew, English, Italian, Arabic w/English subtitles. Post-screening discussion with Vivienne Roumani-Denn.

6:30pm “LEAVING PARADISE: THE JEWS OF JAMAICA.” U.S. Premiere Director: Melanie Levy. Producer: Chandra Simon. Jamaica, 2007, 13 mins.

Followed by

“LADINO - 500 YEARS YOUNG.” NY Premiere. Director: Rina Papish. Israel, 2006, 52 mins. Hebrew, Ladino, Spanish w/English subtitles.

8:30pm “GOODBYE MOTHERS” (“Adieu Mères”) - North American Premiere. Director: Mohammed Ismael. Morocco, 2007, 115 mins. French and Arabic w/English subtitles.


7:30pm “NUBA OF GOLD AND LIGHT.” Director: Izza Genini. Morocco, Spain and France, 2007, 80 mins. Arabic, Spanish with English subtitles. The word "nûba" ("each one in turn") came to describe the process of reciting poems accompanied by music with a progressively accelerating tempo. In the 9th century in Cordoba, Zyriab, also called the Blackbird, came from Baghdad to the Caliph's Court, where he set down the foundations of Arab Andalusian music, within which the "nûba", a musical suite, plays the key role. Tradition says that some of these suites were gradually lost after Cordoba's fall in 1236 and Seville's in 1249. From that time, Jewish and Muslim populations brought back to North Africa the al-Andalus scholar's musical art. Genini's beautiful documentary presents the North African music and features Francoise Atlan and the Orchestra of Mohammed Briouel from Fez; Ihsan Rmiki and the El Awj Ensemble; The Amine El Akrami Orchestra of Tetouan; The orchestra of M. Zitouni and the musicians of the Hanafta café in Tangiers; The Arab Andalou Orchestra and the Hadarate of Chefchaouen; Albert Bouadanah and Gérard Edery.


6. Readings on Jewish Identity in North America (Ben-Moshe)

From: "Danny Ben-Moshe" <Danny(dot)Ben-Moshe(at)vu(dot)edu(dot)au>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <amend(at)BRANDEIS(dot)EDU>

Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 12:11:16 -0500

Re Jewish identity in America you may wish to refer to the recently published volume "Israel, the Diaspora and Jewish Identity" Eds Danny Ben-Moshe and Zohar Segev, Sussex Academic Press, 2007. As the title suggests, the book has quite a lot of information on the place of Israel, or not, in the identity of American Jewry, Canadian Jewry and other parts of the Diaspora.

Danny Ben-Moshe

Victoria University


7. Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Summer Fellowship (Isserman)

From: "Nancy Isserman" <isserman(at)TEMPLE(dot)EDU>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <amend(at)BRANDEIS(dot)EDU>

Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 09:41:36 -0500



The Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History announces its annual summer fellowship to support research in the American Jewish experience.  The grant of $2,500 is available to graduate students and recently graduated Ph.D. students.

Candidates should submit proposals of no more than five typewritten, double-spaced pages to Prof. Michael Alexander, Director, Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, Temple University, 1515 Market Street, Suite 215, Philadelphia, PA  19102.  Please include a letter of support from someone familiar with your work, as well as a curriculum vita. Proposals for the summer fellowship are due by April 18, 2008.  Announcement of awards will be made in June 2008.

Nancy Isserman, PhD

Feinstein Center for American Jewish History

Philadelphia, PA  19102


8. Query: Chocolate and New World Sephardic Jews (Bar-Hai)

From: Ilana Bar-Hai <ilbarhay(at)hotmail(dot)com>

Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 19:33:47 +0000

I am a chocolatier in Israel. I am building a site on chocolate and I want to include the historical aspects. My hobby is researching the history of chocolate, especially from the Jewish perspective. I am having a difficult time getting information on the Jewish connection in the New World during the 16th and 17th centuries. I have read a few articles by Mordechai Arbell and Stanley Hordes. I was hoping you could direct me to sources of information or books on this topic. I find it absolutely fascinating. Please reply both to the list and to me directly at my email address below.

Thank you,

Ilana bar-Hai


[ed: very slight edit]

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