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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Contemporary Jewry in Sub-Saharan Africa

Event details
Calendar   Speaking Engagements
Location Zoom
Date Mon, Apr 11, 9:00am - 10:00am
Duration   1h

Throughout much of Africa, during the past fifty years, there has been a re-emergence of ancient Jewish communities, and a surge of new Jewish communities, both with increasing populations. These communities, and their members, identify themselves to be part of the Jewish Diaspora and the Jewish People.

This extraordinary contemporary development in Jewish identity is taking place amidst increasing levels of global travel and communication are connecting African Jewish communities to Israel and other diaspora communities like never before. It can be argued that this phenomenon is connecting the Jewish people for the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple. These processes, combined with the present-day image of Israel in popular culture, have encouraged many Africans to want to be considered as part of the Jewish Nation, marking a remarkable turning point in Jewish history. Yet these positive developments are also taking place during a time of rising levels of global antisemitism, fundamentalism, extremism, and nationalism.

These realities also pose challenges to Jewish notions of peoplehood. In the interdisciplinary study of Judaism and Jewish studies, this situation is opening new analytical perspectives on the meaning of Jewish identity. This symposium will aim to better understand the multiple implications of what it means to be Jewish and Jewish-African in the 21st century.

Keynote Speakers
Natan Sharansky, Chair, ISGAP
Dr. Charles Asher Small
, Founder and Executive Director, ISGAP; Director, ISGAP-Woolf Institute Fellowship Training Programme on Critical Antisemitism Studies, Cambridge
Dr. Edith Bruder, Department of Near and Middle East Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, CNRS; President, the International Society for the Study of African Jewry

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