Source: World Union of Jewish Studies
For the English Program, click here.
An international four-day conference, co-organized by the World Union of Jewish Studies, marked the 75th anniversary of the Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East.
In 18 sessions, over 70 scholars and intellectuals discussed the history and culture of Sephardi and Eastern Jewry, with a particular focus on historiography and memory.
The sessions included the sources of cultural heritage, such as archives, museums, and libraries; the role of poetry, music, and dance for identity formation and memory, and the impact of networks and publications in the Sephardi diaspora.
At the festive opening session, Prof. Haviva Pedaya presented her keynote lecture “Looking east and west: Memory and identity in literature and history.” Another festive evening featured the concert “A living memory from the outskirts of the Sahara,” performed by the Piyyut Ensemble.
A special session presented the work of the research and study centers at the Ben-Zvi institute, their achievements and challenges. Heated debates emerged during the closing session about the changing role of the study of Jewish communities in the Muslim world, particularly within the field of Jewish Studies, as well as the recognition of disciplines such as ethnography and folklore as part of that research over time. The conference was a particularly fascinating celebration of the Ben-Zvi Institute’s important work during the last 75 years for the study of Jewish communities in the Muslim world.
For the recorded lectures click here.