(23S4) Jews of Iran in the 21st Century (15 Jun 2023)

June 15th, 2023, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm


Recording of this class is at https://youtu.be/g7ncbk81Hqk.

Iran is home to the second largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside of Israel.  With the tense relations between Iran and Israel, many misconceptions about these communities now take over the discourse.  This class will analyze what it means to be an 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.

The class material is based on photographs by Hassan Sarbakhshian, text descriptions by Parvaneh Vahidmanesh and an extensive background introduction by Lior Sternfeld in Jews of Iran: A Photographic Chronicle.  If you buy the book from the publisher Penn State University Press, you get a 30% discount when you use the code NR23.



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Lior Sternfeld is an associate professor of history and Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University.  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.  Against the backdrop of Iranian nationalism, Zionism, and constitutionalism his first book, titled Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran (Stanford University Press, 2018) examined the development and integration of Jewish communities in Iran into the nation-building projects of the last century.




Some pictures of the Iranian Jewish community