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Jewish Transnational Networks in the Interwar Period 1918-1939: Jewish Philanthropy and MENA-Europe relations

Thursday 6 December 2018
Free to visit, drinks after
What's New?! fall lecture series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Laura Kadoorie Girls School in Baghdad, 1932. Copyright Bibliothèque de l’AIU.

How did European and Middle Eastern and North African Jewry (MENA) interact in the period between 1918-1940? Between 1918-1940 systemic transnational Jewish solidarity projects expanded in the areas of education, political and financial assistance – as a result interaction between sub-ethnic Jewish groups (i.e. Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi, Maghrebi) increased exponentially often via nationalist channels (British, French, Iraqi, Moroccan, etc.). These interactions transformed notions of Jewish identity, religiosity, solidarity and belonging.  The relationship between Jewish communities in this period is often framed by contemporary debates about Zionism, Jewish-Muslim relations, the Middle East, and post-colonialism. These debates speak to contemporary issues of identity, rights, and belonging, all legacies of the creation of the State of Israel. This lecture aims to reframe this period around debates of Jewish transnationalism opposed to Jewish nationalism by considering how the communal leadership in MENA interacted with the AIU, AJA, and JDC to promote local communal initiatives.

About Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah

Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah is a PhD candidate at Leiden University. She recently submitted her doctoral dissertation on the transnational networks of Baghdadi Jewry and will defend her thesis in fall 2018. From October 2018 to September 2020 she will be a Rothschild Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Religion (LUCSoR).

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