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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List - April 6, 2008

Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List – April 6, 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, April 6, 2008 (1 Nissan 5768)


For archived issues please visit:



1. Reminder: New Report on Jews from Arab Lands: “Forgotten Exodus” (Ben-Ur)

2. Jewish Refugees from Arab Persecution (Zohar)

3. New Publication: "Israel, the Diaspora and Jewish Identity" (Ben-Moshe)

4. New Publication: Saperstein, _Jewish Preaching in Times of War_ (Craddock)

5. New Documentary: “Toledo—el secreto oculto” (Matitiahu)

6. Sephardic Film, “Trees Cry for Rain,” Now on DVD (Burt)

7. Lecture: “Arab Jewish Writing and the ‘Pre-History’ of Mizrahi Literature” (Levy)

8. Conference: “Re-Visiting Al-Andalus: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain,” CUNY Graduate Center (Gerber)

9. Program: El Legado De Sefarad/The Legacy of Sepharad (ASF)

10. Musical Presentation: Israel - India Music Program, April 7 (Stern)

11. Elka Klein Memorial Travel Grant (Labovitz)

12. Ray D. Wolfe Fellowship, University of Toronto (Vaisman)

13. New Sephardic Congregation in Miami (Elazar)

14. Biography of Sephardic Nobel Prize Winner (Dahbany-Miraglia)


1. Reminder: New Report on Jews from Arab Lands: “Forgotten Exodus” (Ben-Ur)

            A reminder to subscribers to this listserve: The “click here” icon will not work in the issues emailed to you. It only works on the issues posted to the website. Please go to: and then click on the specific issue.

            My thanks to readers for their inquiry.

Aviva Ben-Ur

2. Jewish Refugees from Arab Persecution (Zohar)

From: zion zohar <zohar5011(at)gmail(dot)com>

and: "Dr. Zion Zohar" <zoharz(at)fiu(dot)edu>

Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 23:03:13 -0400

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: Scholars working on the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab lands will be interested in the following notice.]

To view information on this issue, click on the link below:;id=153

If the text above does not appear as a link or it wraps across multiple lines, then copy and paste it into the address area of your browser.

Zion Zohar

[ed: slight edit]


3. New Publication: "Israel, the Diaspora and Jewish Identity" (Ben-Moshe)

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

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

Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2008 6:56 PM

A new volume "Israel, the Diaspora and Jewish Identity" has been published

by Sussex Academic Press. It

* Investigates the significance, contribution and role played by the State

of Israel - ideologically and practically - in the identity of Diaspora


* Explores the extent and way Israel features in Diaspora identity through a range of issues including: anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, Jewish continuity and Israel visits, the peace process, pro-Israel lobbying, Jewish anti-Zionism, philanthropy, religious thought and gender;

* Examines the place of Israel in the identity of Jewish communities in eight countries/regions (Canada, Britain, Latin America, France, Russia, South Africa, Australia, America) and amongst the Israeli Diaspora;

* A unique feature of this volume is that each chapter is followed by short and insightful viewpoints by Israeli and diaspora commentators, with the book reflecting a dialogue between these different voices from across the Jewish world.

For further information and a content list go to

Or for a flyer email danny(dot)ben-moshe(at)vu(dot)edu(dot)au

Danny Ben-Moshe



4. New Publication: Saperstein, _Jewish Preaching in Times of War_ (Craddock)

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

To: LITTMAN INFO <ludo(at)littman(dot)co(dot)uk>

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 22:42:06 +0000

Littman Library / new book by Marc Saperstein on sale


I am writing to let you know that we have published Marc Saperstein's new book, Jewish Preaching in Times of War, 1800-2001 on 31 January, information on which is given below.

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

Further information on this book and all other Littman titles can be found on our website at

Thank you.

Ludo Craddock

Marc Saperstein, _Jewish Preaching in Times of War, 1800-2001_

Wartime sermons reveal how Jews perceive themselves in relation to the majority society and how Jewish and national values are reconciled when the fate of a nation is at stake. They also illustrate how rabbis guide their communities through the challenges of their times.

The sermons reproduced here were delivered by American and British rabbis from across the Jewish spectrum—Orthodox to Liberal, Ashkenazi and Sephardi—from the Napoleonic Wars to the attacks of 9/11. Each sermon is prefaced by a comprehensive introduction explaining the context in which it was delivered. Detailed notes explain allusions unfamiliar to a present-day readership and draw comparisons where appropriate to similar passages in contemporary newspapers and other sermons. A general introduction surveys more broadly the distinctive elements of modern Jewish preaching—the new preaching occasions bound up with the history of the countries in which Jews were living; new modes for the dissemination of the sermons (printed pamphlets and the Jewish and general press), and the emergence of women¹s voices from the pulpit. It also surveys the distinctive themes of modern Jewish sermons, including responses to Jewish suffering, social justice, eulogies for national leaders, Zionism, and war.

What Jewish religious leaders said to their congregations when their countries went to war (or in some cases, were considering going to war) raises questions of central significance for both modern Jewish history and religious thinking in the civic context. What evidence do these sermons present concerning the degree of patriotism felt by Jews? Where and when do we find examples of dissent from the policies taken by their governments, or explicit criticism? What theological problems are raised by the preachers in the context of unprecedented and unimagined destruction, and how do they respond to these problems? How is the enemy presented in these texts; how is the problem of Jews fighting and killing other Jews addressed? Are the preachers functioning to articulate traditions that challenge the consensus of the moment, or as instruments of social control serving the needs of governments looking for unquestioning support by their citizenry? In all these areas, this book makes an important contribution to American- and Anglo-Jewish history of this period while also making available a collection of mostly unknown Jewish texts produced at dramatic moments of the past two centuries.

Marc Saperstein is Principal of Leo Baeck College, London. After receiving a PhD at Harvard, he taught there for nine years, holding the first regular faculty position in Jewish Studies at Harvard Divinity School. Before relocating to London, he was the Charles E. Smith Professor of Jewish History and Director of the Program in Judaic Studies at the George Washington University. A Fellow of the prestigious American Academy for

Jewish Research, he has been visiting professor at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University. He is the author of five previous books, including _Jewish Preaching, 1200-1800_ and _’Your Voice Like a Ram’s Horn’: Themes and Texts in Traditional Jewish Preaching_, both of which won National Jewish Book Awards, as well as many other works on Jewish history and thought. Professor Saperstein is widely recognized as the leading authority in this generation on the history of the Jewish sermon in medieval and modern times.

648 pages

978-1-904113-54-6   £39.95 / $69.95

Ludo Craddock

Chief Executive Officer

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

P.O. Box 645, Oxford OX2 0UJ, UK

main telephone/fax   +44 (0)1865 514688

direct telephone  +44 (0)1865 790740

e-mail   ludo(at)littman(dot)co(dot)uk



5. New Documentary: “Toledo—el secreto oculto” (Matitiahu)

From:             Margalit Matitiahu <alegrica(at)hotmail(dot)com>

Date:             Sun, 23 Mar 2008 10:02:50 +0200

“Toledo - el secreto oculto: Documental

I am happy to tell you that we finished, my son and me, the work on the second documentary film: “Toledo-el secreto oculto” from the series “Sefarad - Caminos y Vida.” Below, please find I. the synopsis (in Spanish) and II. the invitation of the film screening at the Tel Aviv Cinematec under the patronage of the Cervantes Institute.

Margalit Matitiahu

[ed: slight edit]


Prima Luz Films



Documental -  2008 - Duracion: 70 minutos


Jack Matitiahu


Margalit Matitiahu


El documental “Toledo el secreto oculto,”  es el segundo  documental de  la serie de documentales "Sefarad- Caminos y Vida." “Toledo, el secreto oculto"  extende y abre una ventana al spectador incluiendo un reencuentro con la historia Judia, la cultura, el arte y la música que despiertan los aromas del pasado y nos llevan a encontrar el presente.

Toledo, conocida como la ciudad de las tres culturas, el lugar donde entre sus antiguos muros fluyó una vida llena de riqueza en todos los aspectos, conservando los eventos de la historia judia y en general.

Encontramos a la figura de Shmuel Halevi, uno de los nobles judíos de Toledo, de la historia Judia en la epoca medival, tesorero del rey Don Pedro. Encontramos la historia de las dos sinagogas “El transito” y “Santa Maria la Blanca.”

Los entrevistados nos hablan de la vida cotediana en las calles y la palpitación entre sus paredes y muros de la juderia de Toledo. Se habla del anio 1391, del anio 1410, la inquizicion y la expulcion de los Judios en el anio 1942. Entrevistados conversos nos hablan sobre el descubrimiento de sus raizes Judias.

Se descubren sotanos, apartamentos ocultos debajo de casas del siglo 12-13. Encontramos una casa en el bario Judio donde se descubrio ultimamente un gran sotano que en el siglo 12-13 fue una casa de famillas judias. El sotano fue decubierto por azar. El duenio de la casa nos abla y nos cuenta la historia de este decubrimiento y de todo lo que se conservo desde siglos. 

Desde la altura del "Parador" Toledo aparese como un grabado de arte. El ambiente va cambiando dientro la luz de oro en la maniana asta la luz misterioza del atardeser.

Los invitamos a un viaje por las calles y las callejuelas antiguas de Toledo, acariciando los recuerdos grabados en la esencia del alma, descubriendo el ambiente místico en los rincones que a veces nos desborda la imaginación, paisajes que pasan de una generacion a la otra en llevando el carinio a Espana.

Jack Matitiahu -Director y Fotografo

Margalit Matitiahu - Productora

Prima Luz films

Quien somos

Jack Matitiahu

Estudios: Licenciado en estudios de cine y en La Historia del Arte. Recivio beca de excelencia en estudios de cine de parte del fondo America-Israel. Estudios y perfeccionamiento en iluminacion en la clasa del Prof. Vilmos Zigmond (ganador del Oscar por su travajo en la pelicula “The Deer Hunter”). Travajos: Antes de ser licenciado en cine travajo como fotografo del teatro nacional “Habima,” tambien en periodicos y revistas. Despues de ser licenciado travajo en peliculas como fotografo, Director y redactor. Travajo como fotografo en las peliculas de Amos Gitai. Tomo parte en muchas otras peliculas como fotografo y director. Travajo en la pelicula “Trembling before G-D de Sandi Simha que recivio el premio Dubowski en Festival Berlin 2001, tambien fue elegido en Sundance Film Festival 2001. Diretor y fotografo de  la seria  de doumentales "Sefarad - Caminos y Vida",  en Espania. 2 documentales se producieron durante el anio 2005 -2008

Margalit Matitiahu Poeta en  Judeo-Espaniol (Ladino) y Hebreo. Publico 14 libros. 5 de ellos en Espania. “Vela de la luz” – Leon 1997; “Vagabondo Eternel” – Leon 2000; "Bozes en la shara" Cuenca 2002; "Asiguiendo al esfuenio" – Linteo 2005

Estudios:  Literatura Hebrea y Filosofia en la Universidad Bar-Ilan, Ramat-Gan. Envestigaciones: "La prensa  de Salonika en Judeo-Espaniol en los anios  1860-1940;"  “La desvelopacion de la poesia en Judeo-Espaniol, 1875-1940.”

Organizacion y Produccion de Congresos

Premios: Premio Internacional de literatura "FERNANDO JENO" 1994 del Comite Central de la Comonidad Judia de MEXCIO. Premio Internacional de Literatura  "ATENEO DE JAEN"  1996, JAEN, ESPANIA. Premio de Literatura  "PREMIO DEL PRIMER MINISTRO" 1999  ISRAEL.

Premio de poesia de la Academia Internacionala "Oriente-Occidente en Curtea de Arges,

Romania, 2003. En Junio 1997 se inaguro un monolito en la memoria de los Judios de LEON , ESPANIA,  en el monolito se gravaron versos de su poesia : "En el fondo del tiempo" , del libro "Vela de La Luz"  En Deciembre 2003 se inaguro en Puente Castro, Leon, una plaza al nombre de Margalit Matitiahu.

Envastigacion sobre su poesia: se publico por la Prof. Ana Maria Riano Lopez de la Universidad de Granada junto la prof. Maria del Carmen,  U.N.E.D. Guadalajara 2001.  Ph.D sobre su poesia:  escribio la Sra. Giusepina Gerometta en la Universidad "Degli Studio de Udine" Italia, en la Facultad de lenguas estranieras. 2001-2002.   

Productora y envastigacion de la seria de doumentales "Sefarad - Caminos y Vida" en Espania. 2 documentales se producieron durante los anios 2005-2008.


6. Sephardic Film, “Trees Cry for Rain,” Now on DVD (Burt)

From:             bonnie burt <bb(at)bonnieburt(dot)com>

Date:             Fri, 4 Apr 2008 12:58:32 -0700

We're pleased to announce the release, now on DVD, of: "Trees Cry For 

Rain: A Sephardic Journey", with Spanish subtitles.

32 minutes, English and Ladino with English or Spanish subtitles

1989, DVD, vhs

Rachel Amado Bortnick takes the viewer on a fascinating journey exploring her Sephardic roots, recalling the rich, vanishing world of Sephardic culture and the nearly extinct Ladino language. Jewish Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Women's Studies,  Folklore, and Anthropology

A teacher's guide accompanies each video. The guide outlines goals and objectives; provides an historical time line and definitions; and suggests discussions, activities, projects and readings.

"One woman's poignant story about her cultural heritage...powerful video."

 -Northern California Jewish Bulletin

"Recommended for libraries seeking diversified ethnic collection and Spanish culture programs"

-Library Journal

Bonnie Burt



7. Lecture: “Arab Jewish Writing and the ‘Pre-History’ of Mizrahi Literature” (Levy)

From: Miriam Hoffman <tauber(at)brandeis(dot)edu>

Date:             Tue, 01 Apr 2008 11:11:03 -0400

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: Even though the date for this event has passed, readers will be interested to know of Dr. Levy’s work.]

Jewish Studies            Colloquium - This Thursday , April 3, 2008

Brandeis University, Jewish Studies Colloquium

Sponsored by

The Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and

The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry

Lital Levy

Princeton University

Harvard University

“Arab Jewish Writing and the "Pre-History" of Mizrahi Literature”

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008


Lown 315

This colloquium provides a critical forum for graduate students and faculty to present and discuss works in progress, thereby fostering an interdisciplinary intellectual community in all areas of modern Jewish studies. In each session participants will discuss a paper presented by faculty or graduate students from Brandeis and other institutions. The presenter will begin with a brief overview (5-10 minutes) of the work, and the rest of the session will be open to questions and answers.

Papers is available for reading in advance on-line at (or at the Tauber Institute, Lown 306 or call 781-736-2125).

For more information and to submit a proposal, contact:

Eugene Sheppard: sheppard(at); (781) 736-2965

Sylvia Fuks Fried: fuksfried(at)brandeis(dot)edu; (781) 736-2127

Miriam Hoffman

The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry





8. Conference: “Re-Visiting Al-Andalus: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain,” CUNY Graduate Center (Gerber)

Date:             Mon, 24 Mar 2008 09:56:39 -0400

From:             gerberjs(at)aol(dot)com

This is to announce the conference “Re-Visiting Al-Andalus: Muslims, Christians and Jews in Medieval Spain” to be held at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Jane S. Gerber

[ed: slight edit]

April 15, 2008 at 4 P.M.

“Re-Visiting Al-Andalus: Muslims, Christians and Jews in Medieval Spain”


Conference Chair: Jane Gerber, CUNY Graduate Center

Greetings: Albert Bildner

Greetings: Enrique Ojeda Vila, Director, Fundacion Tres Culturas

President William P. Kelly, CUNY Graduate Center “Re-visiting al-Andalus: Opening Remarks”

Jerrilynn Dodds, Distinguished Professor of Art History, City College School of Architecture and CUNY Graduate Center

“Reconquest, Assimilation and Identity in Thirteenth Century Toledo”

Raymond Scheindlin, Professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature and Director, Shalom Spiegel Institute of Medieval Hebrew Poetry, Jewish Theological Seminary

“The Distant Dove: Pilgrimage Poems by Judah Halevi”


Coffee Break

Ross Brann, Milton R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, Cornell University

 “My Soul Departed Spain for Zion”

Olivia Remie Constable, Professor of History, Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame

“Being Muslim in Christian Spain”

David Wasserstein, Professor of History and Director of Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University

“The Jews of al-Andalus: The Last Phase”

Emilio Gonzalez Ferrin, Associate Professor, University of Seville

 “Historical Al-Andalus: Revisiting vs. Revival”


Mr. Albert Bildner

Tres Culturas Fundacion

Center for Jewish Studies, CUNY Graduate Center

Institute for Sephardic Studies, CUNY Graduate Center


Elebash Auditorium

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street

No Registration necessary; Free and Open to the Public


9. Program: El Legado De Sefarad/The Legacy of Sepharad (ASF)

Date:             Tue, 1 Apr 2008 12:11:35 -0400

From:             American Sephardi Federation with Sephardic House <info(at)americansephardifederation(dot)org>


We are pleased to inform you of this most interesting series of events sponsored by the Instituto Cervantes newsletter <>


Del 1 al 21 de abril de 2008/

From April 1 to 21, 2008

El Instituto Cervantes de Nueva York y la Casa Sefarad-Israel de Madrid presentan El Legado de Sefarad, un programa de tres semanas de duración que tiene por objeto dar a conocer la vitalidad de la cultura sefardí en el mundo de hoy. Tras su expulsión de España en 1492, los judíos procedentes de la Península Ibérica han mantenido vivo en todo momento un legado cultural de gran riqueza y diversidad. La idea de este programa es celebrar la música, la literatura, el cine, la lengua y otros aspectos de la cultura sefardí poniendo un énfasis especial en las manifestaciones contemporáneas de un legado de gran valor histórico. Este programa no hubiera sido posible sin el generoso patrocinio del Grupo Santander.

Instituto Cervantes New York and Casa Sefarad-Israel in Madrid are pleased to present “El Legado de Sefarad” (“The Legacy of Sepharad”), a three-week program aimed at showcasing the vitality of Sephardic culture in today’s world. After their expulsion from Spain in 1492, the Iberian Peninsula Jews have kept alive a rich and diverse cultural legacy. The idea behind this program is to celebrate the music, literature, film, language, and other aspects of Sephardic culture, with a particular emphasis on contemporary expressions of this historically important heritage. This program was made possible thanks to the generous support of Grupo Santander.



Dos escritores sefarditas de hoy/Two Contemporary Sephardic Writers                                                   Encuentro entre el escritor norteamericano, nacido en Alejandría (Egipto), André Aciman y la escritora española, nacida en Tetuán (Marruecos), Esther Bendahan/A meeting between the American writer born in Alexandria (Egypt), André Aciman, and the Spanish writer born in Tetuan (Morocco), Esther Bendahan. Presentación/Presentation: Mercedes Monmany (crítica literaria/Literary critic).

Español-inglés. Entrada libre/ Spanish-English. Free admission

2 MIÉRCOLES / WEDNESDAY. 6:00 p.m. Auditorio / Auditorium

Proyección de cine/Film Screening                                                                                                               La vida perra de Juanita Narboni/The Wretched Life of Juanita Narboni                                               (Farida Ben Lyziad: España/Spain, 2006. 101 min.)

Adaptación cinematográfica de la novela homónima del escritor Ángel Vázquez acerca de la convivencia entre las culturas mediterráneas del Tánger anterior a la independencia de Marruecos en 1956/Film adaptation of the homonymous novel by Ángel Vázquez about the interaction of Mediterranean cultures in Tangiers before Morocco's independence in 1956. Reparto/Cast: Mariola Fuentes, Salima BenMoumen y Lou Doillon. Presentada por/Presented by: Nadia Benabid.                                                                   Español con subtítulos en inglés. Entrada libre/Spanish with English subtitles. Free admission

3 JUEVES / THURSDAY. 6:00 p.m. Auditorio / Auditorium

Presentación de la Casa Sefarad-Israel/Presentation of Casa Sefarad-Israel

La Casa Sefarad-Israel nace para profundizar en el estudio del legado de la cultura sefardí como parte integrante y viva de la cultura española y fomentar un mayor conocimiento de la cultura judía/Casa Sefarad-Israel was created to deepen the study of Sephardic culture and its legacy as an integral and living part of Spanish culture and to promote awareness of Jewish culture.                                              Presentación/Presentation: Fernando Martínez-Vara de Rey, Coordinador Cultural/Cultural Coordinator, Casa Sefarad-Israel.

Organizado por/Organized by Casa Sefarad-Israel

Español-inglés. Entrada libre / Spanish-English. Free admission

7 LUNES / MONDAY. 6:00 p.m. Auditorio / Auditorium

Concierto/Concert                                                                                                                                    Trío Sefarad: Eco de Juderías/Echoes of the Jewish Quarters

Desde su fundación en 1994, el Trío Sefarad se ha dedicado a la interpretación y recuperación de la música sefardí/From its creation in 1994, Trío Sefarad has specialized in the recovery and performance of Sephardic music. Nora Usterman (soprano), Ernesto Wildbaum (violín/violin) y Ricardo Barceló (guitarra/guitar).                                                                                                                                       Aforo limitado. Se recomienda adquirir las entradas con anticipación. $25; $15 socios del Instituto Cervantes. Programa sujeto a cambios/Limited seating. Advance ticket purchase recommended. $25; $15 for Instituto Cervantes members. Program subject to change. Reservas/Reservations: events(at) Tel / Phone: 212 308 7720. 211 East 49th St. (entre/between 3rd & 2nd Ave.) New York.

8 MARTES / TUESDAY. 6:00 p.m. Auditorio / Auditorium

Conferencia/Lecture                                                                                                                                 Los judíos de España: historia y mito/The Jews of Spain: History and Myth

Conferencia sobre la presencia judía en la Península Ibérica desde sus orígenes/A lecture on the Jewish presence in the Iberian Peninsula from its origins. Por/By Jane Gerber, Directora del Instituto de Estudios Sefardíes del Graduate Center (CUNY)/Director of the Institute for Sephardic Studies, Graduate Center (CUNY).                                                                                                                                                    Español-inglés. Entrada libre / Spanish-English. Free admission

9 MiércolES / wednesDAY. 6:00 p.m. Auditorio / Auditorium

Proyección de cine/Film Screening                                                                                                               Cine judío argentino contemporáneo/Contemporary Argentine Jewish Cinema

Derecho de familia/Family Law (Daniel Burman: Argentina, 2006. 102 min.) Un joven abogado judío de Buenos Aires, cuya personalidad se ve marcada por la figura paterna, se propone fundar su propia familia/A young Jewish lawyer from Buenos Aires, whose personality was deeply marked by his father, is intent on starting his own family. Reparto/Cast: Daniel Hendler, Arturo Goetz, Eloy Burman.                         Legado/Legacy (Vivian Imar y Marcelo Trotta: Argentina, 2004. 72 min.) Mezcla de documental y ficción sobre la llegada de distintas oleadas migratorias judías a Argentina/Part documentary and part fiction feature about the various waves of Jewish immigration to Argentina.                                                          En colaboración con el Consulado General de Argentina en Nueva York/In collaboration with the Consulate General of Argentina in New York.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Español con subtítulos en inglés. Entrada libre/Spanish with English subtitles. Free admission.

10 jueves / Thursday. 6:00 p.m. Auditorio / Auditorium

Conferencia/Lecture                                                                                                                                 Los Chuetas mallorquines: historia y literatura/The Majorcan Chuetas: History and Literature

Conferencia en torno a los chuetas, una comunidad de Mallorca conocida -e históricamente estigmatizada- por su origen judío. Hoy en día se preservan quince apellidos judíos en el seno de la comunidad chueta, que cuenta con unos treinta mil miembros/A lecture on the Chuetas, a well-known Majorcan community that was historically stigmatized on account of its Jewish origin. Nowadays fifteen Jewish last names survive within the Chueta community, whose population is close to thirty thousand. Por/By Leah Bonnín, profesora y escritora/professor and writer.                                                                                           Español-inglés. Entrada libre/Spanish-English. Free admission

16 Miércoles / wednesday. 6:00 p.m. Auditorio / Auditorium

Proyección de cine/Film Screening                                                                                                               Cine judío argentino contemporáneo/Contemporary Argentine Jewish Cinema

Judíos en el espacio/Jews in Space (Gabriel Lichtmann: Argentina, 2005. 89 min.) Tras años de silencio, Santiago se encuentra con Luciana, un amor de la infancia. Juntos tratarán de organizar la cena de Pesaj para reunir a toda la familia tras un intento de suicidio del abuelo/After years of silence, Santiago reencounters Luciana, a love from his childhood. Together they try to organize a Passover dinner to bring the entire family together after the grandfather's suicide attempt. Reparto/Cast: Fernando Rubio, Luna Paiva y Verónica Llinás.                                                                                                                            Cara de queso/Cheese Face (Ariel Winograd: Argentina, 2006. 90 min.) Historia de cuatro chicos judíos que acuden a un campamento de verano en las afueras de Buenos Aires a principios de los años 90/The story of four Jewish boys who attend a summer camp in the outskirts of Buenos Aires at the beginning of the nineties. Reparto: Nicolás Condito, Sergio Denis, Inés Efron.                                                                 En colaboración con el Consulado General de Argentina en Nueva York/In collaboration with the Consulate General of Argentina in New York.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Español con subtítulos en inglés. Entrada libre/Spanish with English subtitles

21 LUNES / MONDAY. 6:00 p.m. Auditorio / Auditorium

Concierto/Concert                                                                                                                                    Canciones Sefardíes/Sephardic Songs

Recital de antiguas canciones sefardíes en versión para voz y piano/A recital of old Sephardic songs for voice and piano. Manuel García-Morante (piano) & Yrene Martínez-Roca (soprano).                           

Aforo limitado. Se recomienda adquirir las entradas con anticipación. $25; $15 socios del Instituto Cervantes. Programa sujeto a cambios/Limited seating. Advance ticket purchase recommended. $25; $15 for Instituto Cervantes members. Program subject to change. Reservas/Reservations: events(at)cervantes(dot)org. Tel./Phone: 212 308 7720. 211 East 49th St. (entre/between 3rd & 2nd Ave.) New York.       

En colaboración con/In collaboration with: Casa Sefarad-Israel Madrid                                                        Patrocinio/Sponsored by: Banco Santander S.A.          

The Spanish Cultural Center

in New York at Amster Yard

211 East 49th Street

New York, NY 10017



10. Musical Presentation: Israel - India Music Program, April 7 (Stern)

From:             "Stern, Stephen" <dialogues(at)washingtondcjcc(dot)org>

Date:             Thu, 27 Mar 2008 12:07:42 -0400

I would like to announce a major cultural series of programs we are doing in partnership with Dr. Barbara Johnson and local and international partners.

It is focused on "The Women Who Kept the Songs" featuring  two of Israel's Nirit Singers, and Indian and American colleagues who helped them revive a nearly lost Jewish Indian musical expression.

Below are: I. the detailed press release, II. a short blurb for listserves, and III. the full version of the flyer.

Stephen R. Stern

Director, Dialogues and Public Affairs

Washington DC Jewish Community Center

1529 Sixteenth Street, NW

Washington DC 20036


(202) 777-3207, (202) 425-4996

Visit the Washington DCJCC's new blog: <> for previews of upcoming programs, highlights from past events and the latest news from the Jewish and cultural worlds.

I. The Women Who Kept the Songs: From India to Israel—The Musical Heritage of Cochin

Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Washington DC Jewish Community Center

1529 Sixteenth Street, NW Washington DC Jewish Community Center

Monday, April 7, 7:30pm

 The Nirit Singers, Israeli women of Cochini Indian origin, will sing and share the stories of a nearly lost cultural treasure with American and Indian experts who helped in the music’s revival. For centuries Jewish women along India’s Malabar Coast filled notebooks with music they sang in Malayalam at weddings, community celebrations and rituals. Now they have been painstakingly re-discovered, performed and recorded in Israel, and been the subject of international exchange on the cultures of Hindus, Christians and Jews in India’s vibrant multi-ethnic Kerala region. The songs and discussion will be followed by a reception in honor of this cultural achievement.

Co-sponsored by the Embassies of India and Israel, University of Maryland Center for Jewish Studies and Office of International Programs, B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, and Library of Congress Asia Division.
$15, Discounted Member, Senior, Under 25 and Student Price $10

Online purchase of tickets at

Information: Stephen Stern (202) 777-3207


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      CONTACTS:

March 15, 2008                                                            Stephen Stern, Director, Dialogues & Public Affairs

                                                                        (202) 777-3207, dialogues(at)washingtondcjcc(dot)org

                                                                        Tali Chitaiad, Director, Literature, Music & Dance

                                                                        (202) 777-3254; talic(at)washingtondcjcc(dot)org

Washington DC Jewish Community Center


Israel’s Nirit Singers, with Indian and American experts

WASHINGTON, DC – An international partnership presents nearly lost Jewish musical treasures from the Kerala region of India, with an evening of songs and interactive discussion on the Washington DCJCC’s Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater stage, Monday, April 7 at 7:30 pm. Two members of Israel’s Nirit Singers will perform songs recovered from their Cochini cultural origins in India. They will share stories and video clips as well as discuss with their American and Indian expert colleagues the revival in Israel of this precious community music. The panelists will be feted for this remarkable achievement at a reception to follow the program.


BACKGROUND - For centuries Jewish women along India’s Malabar Coast filled songbooks with Jewish-themed music sung in Malayalam at weddings, community celebrations and rituals. Indian, Israeli and American researchers aided a group of Cochini Israelis, who gathered monthly in Israel over five years, to re-learn each precious blessing, biblical narrative or ode to Israel.  They strung them together musically from recovered songbooks into what has been deemed “a palmful of pearls.” They have brought to modern ears the voices of their aunts and grandmothers by forming the Nirit Singers. Their music has been painstakingly collected into CD recordings in Israel, and been a part of an international conference in India that looked deeply at the thousand years and more of cultural interchange among Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the vibrant multi-ethnic Kerala region. Members of the Nirit Singers, and their American and Indian expert colleagues, have been brought to the Washington area by a unique partnership of the Embassies of India and Israel, University of Maryland Center for Jewish Studies and Office of International Programs, B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, Library of Congress Asia Division and the Washington DCJCC.


Galia Hacco, of Tel Aviv, Israel, was born in Kerala,  emigrated to Israel as a teenager in the 1950s, and is now a retired social worker. She is the organizer and leader of the Nirit Singers, and of a new oral history project in Israel focused on lives of Cochini women. Her graduate studies at the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem were an inspiration for these projects.

Zipporah (“Venus”) Lane, of Tiberias, Israel, is from a family of women acknowledged as experts in the Malayalam Jewish songs. Born in Kerala, she received her college education there before emigrating to Israel in the 1970s. A frequent soloist with the Nirit Singers, Venus has perform in the US and is now collaborating with Dr. Barbara Johnson to edit and expand the song translations begun by her aunt, the late Ruby Daniel.

Dr. Scaria Zacharia (linguist and literary scholar) of Kerala, India, is a key partner to the Nirit Singers and is expert in the content and importance of Malayalam Jewish songs in the context of Kerala folk literature and culture, and on the response by Kerala scholars to recent publications of these songs. Zacharia has been Professor and Chair of Malayalam Language and Literature at Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit in Kalady, Kerala. He is co-author of Karkulali-Yefifiah-Gorgeous!: Jewish Women’s Songs in Malayalam with Hebrew Translations (Jerusalem, 2005) and organizer of an international conference in India on “the Jewish Heritage of Kerala” (2006).

Dr. Barbara C. Johnson (anthropologist) of Ithaca, New York, was essential in aiding the work of the Nirit Singers, with her extensive research and field work in India and Israel on the Kerala Jews and as a pioneer in recording and collecting their song. She is an expert on the importance of Cochini women’s songs in understanding Jewish cultural diversity, and on the role of women in traditional Kerala culture. She was Associate Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of Jewish Studies at Ithaca College. She edited the CD/book Oh, Lovely Parrot: Jewish Women’s Songs from Kerala (Jerusalem 2004) and co-authored Ruby of Cochin: An Indian Jewish Woman Remembers (1995) with the late Cochini song expert Ruby Daniel.

Dr. Smita Jassal (anthropologist) of India will moderate the program, and offer a comparison of the Kerala Jewish songs with women’s folksongs from other parts of India. Author of Daughters of the Earth: Women and Land (New Delhi 2001), she teaches Gender and Development at Columbia University and Cross-Cultural Communication at American University. Her recent manuscript based on songs and folk narratives of north India is being prepared for publication.


Venue: Washington DCJCC, 1529 16th Street NW (16th & Q)

Tickets: $15, Discounted Member Price $10 (for JCC Members, students with ID, seniors, persons under 25 and groups of eight or more.)

To order: online at

Same-day tickets will be available starting one hour before the event, subject to availability. All ticket sales are final.

Information: (202) 777-3207; (202) 777-3254 dialogues(at)washingtondcjcc(dot)org;


Sunday, April 6, 3:00 pm, Stamp Student Union, Prince George’s Room (1210), University of Maryland, College Park?A combined musical and academic panel will focus on Malayalam-language songs and expert commentary.  For further information, contact Dr. Saul Sosnowki at (301) 405-4772 or sosnowski(at)umd(dot)edu

Monday, April 7, Noon, Mumford Room, Library of Congress, Washington DC?A short introduction to the songs and stories. The program will be accompanied by a special exhibit of books on the Cochini Jewish community from the Asian collections of the Library of Congress in the Asian Reading Room, LJ–150, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress from 10:00 am–5:00pm.  For further information, contact  Dr. Allen Thrasher at (202) 707-3732 or athr(at)loc(dot)gov

The Washington DCJCC works to preserve and strengthen Jewish identity, heritage, tradition and values through a wide variety of social, cultural, recreational and educational programs and services. The16th Street J is committed to welcoming everyone in the community; membership and all activities are open to all. The Washington DCJCC is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and a designated agency of the United Way.



III. click here for flier


11. Elka Klein Memorial Travel Grant (Labovitz)

From: "Gail Labovitz" <GLabovitz(at)ajula(dot)edu>

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

Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 16:09:29 -0400

Dear all,

I just wanted to remind everyone that the deadline for applications for the Elka Klein Memorial Travel Grant is approaching. The original announcement follows; please share this with any eligible graduate students you may know in the fields of Jewish Studies, History, and/or Gender Studies (you can also tell them that if the application doesn't reach us until the first week of April, we will still consider it).

Dr. Gail Labovitz

American Jewish University

Dr. Elka Klein (1965-2005) was passionate about her profession as a historian and a teacher.  Her untimely death in the spring of 2005 was a great loss to all who knew her, whether personally or professionally.  In her memory, her friends and professional colleagues in the fields of History and Jewish Studies have created a fitting memorial to honor her dedication to and her achievements in her academic life.

A cash grant of $1500 will be awarded in Dr. Klein's memory to a doctoral candidate preparing to spend a semester or more of the 2008-2009 academic year abroad conducting historical research towards his/her dissertation.

The grant recipient will be selected by a panel of scholars based on the relevance and potential contribution of the proposed work to the fields and concerns important to Dr. Klein, such as Sephardic culture, medieval history, gender studies, and Jewish studies.

Applicants for the grant are asked to submit four copies of the following information by March 31, 2008:

*        A c.v.

*        A copy of the applicant's dissertation proposal

*        A description of the specific research to be undertaken abroad

*        A working budget, including what other funds have already been secured

*        A letter of recommendation from the applicant's dissertation supervisor, addressing the applicant's qualifications and the significance the research s/he will be undertaking

 Applications should be mailed to:

Dr. Elka Klein Memorial Travel Grant

c/o Dr. Gail Labovitz

American Jewish University

15600 Mulholland Drive

Bel Air, CA  90077

Applicants will be informed of the committee's selection by April 30, 2008. For more information, please contact Dr. Gail Labovitz, glabovitz(at)ajula(dot)edu

The selected applicant will be expected to acknowledge the grant in the dissertation and in any subsequent publications that result from the research subsidized by the grant.  We thank the Association for Jewish Studies for their help in fund-raising and administration to make this grant possible.


12. Ray D. Wolfe Fellowship, University of Toronto (Vaisman)

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

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 09:25:45 -0500

      The University of Toronto's Jewish Studies Program offers the Ray D. Wolfe Fellowship to support advanced research in Jewish Studies. Fellowships are awarded to candidates working on doctoral dissertations as well as to post-doctoral applicants. Applicants must be engaged in research related to the history, culture, literature or thought of the Jewish people. Award winners will be designated as Ray D. Wolfe Fellows. They will spend an academic year at the University of Toronto either to complete a dissertation or prepare a completed dissertation for publication. Ray D. Wolfe fellows will teach one course in each of the two terms of the academic year. They will also deliver one public lecture in the Spring term. Fellows receive a $40,000 (Canadian) stipend to defray living and travel costs. Applicants from foreign as well as Canadian universities are welcome.


Galina Vaisman

Jewish Studies Program

University of Toronto

15 King's College Circle

 Toronto, ON M5S 3H7


 Email: jewish.studies(at)utoronto(dot)ca

 Visit the website at


13. New Sephardic Congregation in Miami (Elazar)

From: Yehonatan Elazar <elazar613(at)yahoo(dot)com>

Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2008 20:28:03 -0700 (PDT)

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: Scholars working on the contemporary Sephardi/Mizrahi community may be interested in contacting Yehonatan Elazar for more information. The message is below slightly edited.]

I am the president of Qahal Qadosh HaSefaradi Nidhe Israel in Miami, Florida. We are a Spanish & Portuguese Jewish Congregation. We have been together for about 4 months now. On behalf of our community, I would like to send your faculty some information about our vision here in sunny south Florida for the Sephardic community. We would like to have contact with members of your Sephardic program.


  Yehonatan Elazar-DeMota s"t


14. Biography of Sephardic Nobel Prize Winner (Dahbany-Miraglia)

From:             ddmqcc(at)att(dot)net

via: SAM ACHLUFI achlufi_s(at)verizon(dot)net and relozory(at)012(dot)net(dot)il

Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2008 21:21:40 +0000

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: Readers may be interested in the biography of this Sephardic Nobel Prize-winning scientist. The message below is slightly edited.]

Sefaradi Nobel Prize winner

Baruj Benacerraf, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1980, was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on October 29, 1920 of Spanish-Jewish ancestry. He writes: “My father, a self-made business man, was a textile merchant and importer. He was born in Spanish Morocco, whereas my mother was born and raised in French Algeria and brought up in the French culture. When I was five years old, my family moved to Paris where we resided until 1939…”

Dina Dahbany-Miraglia Ph.D.

Associate Professor-Retired

Queensborough Community College &

MEMEAC (Middle East& Middle East

American Center)

The City University of New York


This is the official website for the Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List.
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