On April 22nd, the Honors Program was honored to host a luncheon featuring Henry Green, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami at Coral Gables, who came to give a lecture on “The Transformation of Sephardi Identity in Israel and the Diaspora.”

Prof. Green started by posing the question of who are the Sephardim and what was their relationship to Israel, in order to discuss the ways in which they experienced discrimination and oppression in Israel. He brought up texts that they had written, such as the “Black Panthers Haggadah,” in which they expressed feeling like second class citizens in Israeli society.

Henry Green speaking

Henry Green speaking

He spoke of their experiences of leaving their native lands, of resettling, and of their connections to other Jews and to religious life, giving us a sense of the community. He also stressed the importance of recording these stories and preserving the legacy of this community.

He ended by showing a very moving film about documents and Torah scrolls that had been confiscated from the Jewish community in Baghdad and brought to America, where they were properly buried.

 

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