11th Annual Rice University Jewish Studies Lecture Series

Rice Lecture Series

Migration and Identity in the Jewish Hispanic World

Sept 11, 25, & Oct 2 2019  

Better Under Edom Than Ishmael: Jewish Migrations from Islamic to Christian Spain in the Middle Ages
Wednesday, Sept 11 | 7:30 PM 
Presenter: Dr. Maya Soifer Irish

The period from c. 900–c. 1200 in Islamic Spain is known as the “Golden Age” of the Jews. In contrast, Jewish life in medieval Christian Europe was punctuated by persecutions, including the First Crusade massacres of 1096 and the final expulsion of 1492. This talk will explore the Jews’ search for stability and prosperity in medieval Spain.

Shaping Jewish Identity in Argentina from the Late 19th Century to the Present
Wednesday, Sept 25 | 7:30 PM 
Presenter: Dr. Gisela Heffes

Jewish Argentine writings can be found from the very beginning of the foundation of the nation state and the arrival of the first immigrants from Eastern Europe. However, their writings were not connected exclusively to a cohesive Jewish identity. This lecture will address how three particular Jewish writers inserted themselves in a national landscape shaping both their own identity as well as that of Argentines.

The "Return" That Wasn't: Spain's 2015 Sephardic Citizenship Law 
RESCHEDULED DATE: Wednesday, Oct 2 | 7:30 PM 
Presenter: Dr. Charles McDonald

In 2015, the Spanish parliament unanimously approved a “Law of Return” offering citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled in 1492. But as the law is set to expire later this year, it is widely viewed as a failure due to the startlingly few applications it has attracted, and the even smaller number that have been approved. Come and learn about the law in all its complexities.

Per Lecture: $12 Member I $17 Public*
Series Pass: $29 Member I $43 Public(
Free for Platinum & Above Patrons of the Arts

*Prices include service fees

All programs take place at the J

For more information please contact Rabbi Samantha Safran at or 713.595.8163. 

This series is organized in part by the Program in Jewish Studies at Rice University and is made possible by The Maurice Amado Foundation.

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