August 12 – Michael Berenbaum – From North Africa to Southeastern Europe: The Fate of the Sephardim in the Holocaust
August 12 – From North Africa to Southeastern Europe: The Fate of the Sephardim in the Holocaust
Dr. Michael Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer, and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and the development of historical films. He is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute. His presentation will address the experience of Sephardic Jews during the Holocaust. Because most American Jews are can trace their origins to East Europe and because the full impact of the Holocaust decimated the Jews of Eastern Europe, the Holocaust is generally studied and remembered as a primarily Ashkenazi phenomenon, while the history of Sephardic Jews, an extremely diverse set of populations, and their experiences during the Holocaust are far less well known. Dr. Berenbaum will explore how the Holocaust that resulted in the murder of nearly 6 million European Jews virtually extinguished great population centers of Sephardi Jewry and led to the almost complete demise of their unique language – Ladino – and its unique traditions. He will explore the fate of the Jews of Greece and the Balkans, of North Africa and even Asia during the Holocaust.
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Interior of the “Kahal Aragon” Synagogue, Monastir. During the occupation, the synagogue was used as a slaughterhouse for pigs, after all its contents were plundered.