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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven

IMPORTANT NEWS FOR SEPHARDIC / JUDAIC SCHOLARS

USHMM to Hold Conference on Sephardim and the Holocaust - June 2010

November 23, 2009 - I am happy to report that recent advocacy work to get the USHMM to admit that Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem conspired in North Africa to kill Jews there, as well as in the Middle East, is one reason why this conference will indeed take place in June 2010.

It's very sad that the USHMM had refused to admit this until I held a press conference in January of 2006 at the National Press Club in Washington DC. Later that night, in front of a standing room only crowd, a colloquium my colleagues and I organized was held at The National Synagogue, where several prominent Jewish leaders met to discuss remedies to the USHMM's failure to document the role Islamic groups played in the Holocaust. The speakers included Rabbi Avi Weiss, NY Times best-selling author Edwin Black, Carol Greenwald, board member of Holocaust Museum Watch, Congressman Elliot Engle and myself.

Let's hope this conference next year is a huge success and the USHMM continues to right the many wrongs it carries. This includes changing the mission statement of the USHMM itself which is erroneous. It reads in part: "The Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany....." But what is WELL-KNOWN and ESTABLISHED, is that the Holocaust turned out to be a state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of Jews not only in Europe, but also of Jews in North Africa and Asia. In addition, historians know that Hitler had no plans to only kill "European Jews" - but all Jews - everywhere.

regards,

Shelomo Alfassa

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PROGRAM: A June 2010 workshop on Sephardic Jewry and the Holocaust will take place at the USHMM in Washington, DC. The application deadline is November 23, 2009.

It is sponsored by the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (CAHS) of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) which is seeking applications for the workshop, planned for June 16-25, 2010 at the USHMM. Up to 14 applicants will be accepted.

It will be led by two leading scholars in the field, Aron Rodrigue and Daniel Schroeter. There are two parts, seminar and research.

The seminar will address interdisciplinary issues, such as Ladino language and Sephardic identity; the Sephardic experience in ghettos, camps, and transports; resistance and rescue; and the experience of North African Jews before and during the war. Geographic areas are Southeastern Europe (Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece) and North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco).

The research section will consist of orientation, exposure, and guided research in the Museum's extensive archival and other collections concerning North Africa, Croatia, Greece, Serbia, the Jewish community of Monastir, newly acquired collections in Ladino and Judeo-Arabic, and selected collections of Sephardic-survivor oral testimonies and Sephardic music.

The goals are to acquaint emerging scholars with the breadth of this rich and diverse subject matter; expose them to new scholarly research on Sephardic Studies and the Holocaust; and provide them with the background knowledge, archival resources, and scholarly networking necessary to initiate or continue work in this underrepresented area.

USHMM will accept up to 14 scholars from among advanced graduate students, doctoral candidates, post-doctoral scholars, and early career academics who are currently conducting or considering research on Sephardic Jewish Studies, Holocaust Studies in Sephardic countries or communities, or area studies in countries in which Sephardic Jews resided.

Candidates must be affiliated with an accredited, degree-awarding institution (baccalaureate, the equivalent, or higher) in North America.

Applications, which must be submitted electronically (or postmarked) in English by November 23, include a current CV, a statement on the scholar's interest and background, a supporting letter from an advisor, department chair or dean. Non-local attendees receive lodging for the workshop and $1,000 towards travel and incidental expenses. Local attendees receive $200 for the two weeks.

Questions? Contact Dr. Leah Wolfson lwolfson@ushmm.org at the USHMM for more information.


 

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© Shelomo Alfassá