Jewish Learning

13th Annual Rice University Jewish Studies Lecture Series
Date: October 13, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm

Location: J @Home Virtual Programs

Contact: Rabbi Barry Gelman
Phone: 713-595-8163
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Join the Program in Jewish Studies at Rice University for three fascinating lectures spanning the global Jewish community from East to West.  From marginalized Moroccan Jewish artists in Israel fighting for recognition, to Iranian Jews negotiating between integration and cultural preservation, to discussions of antisemitism and philosemitism in Europe and the United States, these presentations explore how Jews live simultaneously as insiders and outsiders in the modern world.

Dr. Daniella Farah
Creating Jewish Identity in Twentieth-Century Iran
Wednesday, Oct 13 @ 7:00 PM

Jews have lived in Iran for over 2,500 years, with a population of 100,000 at the community’s height in 1945. During the twentieth century, Iranian Jews experienced rapid upward mobility, participated in significant political and social movements, and integrated into several layers of Iranian society. This talk will explore the landscape of Jewish identity in Iran during the 20th century, with a special focus on Jewish-Muslim interactions, political engagement and aspirations, and the intersection of education and integration. As we examine how Iranian Jews navigated between their Iranian and Jewish identities in an era of new nationalisms, we gain insight into what Jewish emancipation and assimilation looked like in a Muslim-majority country.

Dr. Farah, a Samuel W. and Goldye Marian Spain Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program in Jewish Studies at Rice University, received her PhD in Jewish History from Stanford University in 2021. She works on the socio-cultural histories of the Jews of the Middle East. Her scholarship, which lies at the intersection of Jewish history, Middle Eastern history, education history, and transnational studies, examines interreligious encounters, national belonging, and Jewish identity formation in modern Iran and Turkey. She has been awarded several national grants and awards including a 2021 Salo Baron New Voices in Jewish Studies Award at Columbia and Fordham Universities and a 2021-2022 Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Grant. Her article, “‘The school is the link between the Jewish community and the surrounding milieu’: Education and the Jews of Iran from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s,” was published in 2021 in the journal of Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to her research efforts, Dr. Farah is a passionate, award-winning educator with significant teaching experience.

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