Cornell University

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Jewish Histories of the Modern Middle East: The Jews of Iran in the 21st Century

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 5:00pm to 6:30pm

White Hall, 110
123 Central Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Iran is home to the second biggest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel.
With the tense relations between Iran and Israel, many misconceptions about these communities take over the discourse. This talk will analyze what it means to be Iranian Jew in the 21st century in the Islamic Republic. We will go on a photographic journey along with these communities to their homes, schools, shops, synagogues, pilgrimage sites, and more.

Lior Sternfeld is an associate professor of history and Jewish Studies. He is a social historian of the modern Middle East with particular interests in the histories of the Jewish people and other minorities of the region. Sternfeld's first book, titled “Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran,” (Stanford University Press, 2018) examines, against the backdrop of Iranian nationalism, Zionism, and constitutionalism, the development and integration of Jewish communities in Iran into the nation-building projects of the last century. He is currently working on two book projects: “The Origins of Third Worldism in the Middle East” and a new study of the Iranian-Jewish Diaspora in the U.S. and Israel.

Lecture sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program and Department of Near Eastern Studies as part of the Jewish Histories of the Modern Middle East lecture series

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Near Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies Program


cascal, nescal, jwstcal, cashum, jwst50

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Lior Sternfeld

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Penn State

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