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Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons; cropped.) CC BY-SA 3.0

Between Egypt and Palestine/Israel: Middle Eastern Jews, Zionism and Israeli Society

Dr. Alon Tam, Postdoctoral Fellow of the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, will explore the history of ties between the Jewish community in Egypt and the one in Palestine before 1948 (the Yishuv), and the history of Jewish Egyptians' integration in Israel after 1948.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM (Pacific Time)

 

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Note: This live event will be recorded and posted online afterward for later viewing on the Y&S Nazarian Center's multimedia page.

Co-sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies and the UCLA Department of History.

 

About the Talk

The geographical proximity between Egypt and Palestine/Israel made for a shared history since antiquity. In this public lecture, Alon Tam will trace the strong ties – hitherto much understudied – between the Jewish community in Egypt, and the one in Palestine/Israel, especially the growing Zionist community, both before and after 1948. Using unexplored archival documents, as well as interviews, photographs, and other evidence, he will focus on the exchanges between the two leaderships, and on the everyday ties between the broader communities.

Dr. Tam will end with examining how Egyptian Jews fared in Israel after they left Egypt and settled there in the 1950s and 1960s. This historical arc challenges traditional periodization in the historiography about modern Israel, as well as some other assumptions about the relations of Middle Eastern Jews (Mizrahim), Zionism, and Israeli society.



About the Speaker

Dr. Alon Tam is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. He is a social and cultural historian of the Middle East and North Africa. He received his Ph.D. in 2018 from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include the social history of Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa. As the Nazarian Center's Postdoctoral Fellow in 2021-22, Tam will promote his research on the social and political history of Egyptian Jews in Israel post-1948, as well as about the close ties of that community to the Yishuv in Israel/Palestine before 1948. Prior to joining the center, Tam was the Israel Institute Visiting Scholar in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He also is a former fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University fo Pennsylvania.



DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.

 



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Sponsor(s): Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, Department of History