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January 2022

“Figuring Jerusalem: Politics and Poetics in the Sacred Center”

January 20, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Zoom, Online

The Hebrew imagination, incubated in ancient Zion, travelled with the Jews throughout their diasporas, generating rich mimetic cultures meant as temporary waystations along the path to eventual return and redemption. While Jerusalem and the site of the ruined Temple remained the focus of liturgical attention, distance, deferral and substitution liberated the poetic imagination. But, from the “beginning,” the question of the locus of holiness remained unresolved—in the Hebrew Bible itself, and even after Solomon completed building a “house to the…

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February 2022

“Ottomans After Empire: Sephardi Immigrant Space and Daily Life in Interwar Paris”

February 10, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Zoom, Online

In the first decades of the twentieth century, tens of thousands of Sephardi Jews migrated out of the crumbling Ottoman Empire and its successor states to build new lives in France. Most Ottoman Sephardi immigrants settled in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, which became known in common parlance as “Little Turkey.” With streets lined with Sephardi restaurants and grocers, apartment buildings inhabited by Sephardi immigrant families, and a center marked by the Ottoman Sephardi Temple Popincourt, the Roquette Quarter recast what it…

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March 2022

“Guides who Helped Jews Flee from France to Spain across the Pyrenees: 1940-1944”

March 3, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Zoom, Online

Between 1933 and 1944, persecution caused thousands of Jews from Germany and German-occupied countries to seek refuge in France, or to travel through France on their way out of Europe. After Germany occupied a large part of France in June 1940, both the German administration governing the Occupied Zone and the French Vichy government in the Unoccupied Zone began persecuting Jews. For Jews seeking to leave France, one escape route was across the Pyrenees to Spain and then Portugal, where…

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“Letters from the Abyss: Jewish Travelogues on Jewish life in Nazi Germany in the Yiddish press of Warsaw”

March 31, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Between 1933 and 1939, several dozen journalists writing for the Yiddish press in Poland traveled to Nazi Germany to cover political developments and Jewish life in the Third Reich from an investigative, ethnographic and uniquely Eastern European-Jewish point of view. Their personal and professional experience allowed them to document and interpret National Socialism from a dual perspective. As traveling Jewish journalists from Eastern Europe they were “outsiders” from German society and from the German-Jewish experience. However, as Jews travelling through Nazi Germany (and sometimes staying for weeks or months), they were also “insiders”…

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