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Sephardim, Holocaust and Diasporic Memory: the Jews from the Island of Rhodes
Publication date: Oct 10, 2013 06:37 PM
Start: Oct 21, 2013 06:00 PM
LUCIEN GUBBAY LECTURE
Sponsored by the Sephardi community of London
Professor Aron Rodrigue, Stanford University
Monday October 21st 2013
The ancient Ottoman Sephardic Jewish community of the island of Rhodes was deported to Auschwitz in June 1944 and perished there. Rhodes Jewry had come under Italian rule in 1912 and had undergone profound cultural and socio-political transformations in the decades that followed. It had also seen large scale waves of emigration, to North and South America, and to Africa, most notably to the Belgian Congo and Southern Rhodesia. This lecture will survey these developments and then will focus on the diaspora of Rhodes Jew, especially after the Holocaust when the mother community disappeared. Separated by large distances, Jews of Rhodes origin maintained close contacts with each other across continents, produced memoirs and periodicals and created a strong network of ties. We will explore how and why such an unusual and distinctive Sephardic global diasporic identity was created by Rhodes Jews and their descendants and has managed to last till our own day.
Aron Rodrigue is the Charles Michael Professor in Jewish History and Culture at Stanford University. He specializes in the history and culture of Sephardic Jewries and has many published works on the subject. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research. This year he was made a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. His current research project is the history of the last fifty years of the Sephardi community of the island of Rhodes, from its transition from Ottoman to Italian rule in 1912 until its destruction in 1944.
This lecture is held in honour of the appointment of Lucien Gubbay as Honorary Research Associate of UCL, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
Reception from 6pm, Garden Room, Wilkins Building - entrance through the South Cloisters, across the main quad.
Lecture 6.45pm Chadwick lecture theatre, Chadwick Building.
For more events, see our Lectures Programme for Autumn 2013.
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