Newsletters

Director’s message – January 2020

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year. Over the last few months, Sephardi Voices has moved into new territory with exhibitions and 2020 is going to be another busy year. We had our first multi-media portrait exhibition, Iraqi Jewish Voices, at the Museum of Jewish Montreal followed by Sephardi Voices – A Canadian Refuge, a portrait exhibition with stunning B & W portraits by Liam Sharp at the Miles Nadal JCC in downtown Toronto. Sephardi Voices was also fully engaged this fall with presentations, lectures and tributes.

We honored 96 year old Naim Dallal, the founder of the Toronto Iraqi Club, at the Holy Blossom Temple. For the second year, we partnered with the Prosserman JCC in Toronto during Holocaust Education week by presenting Lessons from Arab Lands –The Resurgence of Antisemitism with speakers Flo Urbach, Carol Bassoon Zaltman, and Lisette Shashoua from Montreal. I had the privilege of presenting Sephardi Voices to the Young Professional Organization’s annual conference with Israel Consul General Galit Baram.

I had the opportunity of presenting a paper at the prestigious Humanities and Social Science conference at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv. I showed selections of our Sephardi Voices video collection, including short vignettes of Cynthia Kaplan Shamash, David Cohen, and Edwin Shuker. As a result of the presentation, Sephardi Voices was featured in a Channel 13 television news item and an article in Israel Hayom, Israel’s leading daily newspaper.

While I was in Israel, I met with Yoel Finkleman, the Curator of the Judaica Collection at the National Library of Israel. I was pleased to hear that the Shashsa Collection, Sephardi Voices’ first collection of interviews, portraits, and archives is now deposited in the National Library of Israel.

Over the next few months I look forward to inviting you to more exhibitions, presentations, lectures and films. I hope to see you at The Forgotten Exodus – An American Refuge, our next portrait exhibition opening on February 8, 2020 at the University of Miami Gallery in the Wynwood District of Miami.

Finally, please visit our website, www.sephardivoices.com which is now in English and Hebrew.

Executive Director,

Henry Green

Behind the lens: J. Tomas Lopez

The photographer behind the Sephardi Voices exhibit of Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands is J. Tomas Lopez—an artist with a lifelong passion for documenting trauma, displacement, and suffering as told through stunning photography.

The new exhibit—focusing on Sephardi Jews in Miami—is on display at the University of Miami Gallery Wynwood Design District in Miami on February 3 to February 28.

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In the spotlight: Rolen Sabet

At the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, nearly 100,000 Jews were living in Iran; today, less than 9,000 remain. Roland Sabet left Iran in 1953 for New York, and his family members were among the tens of thousands that left Iran in the wake of the overthrow of the Shah. The imprint of his Persian Jewish heritage and his immigrant experience in the US is an indelible one, and mirrors the narrative of other Iranian Jewish refugees.

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Past 2019 Event Highlights

Check out some highlights of our events of 2019.

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Upcoming Events

Check out our calendar of events for spring 2020.

  • January 22 – Screening of Your Wishes in Heaven at the Miami Jewish Film Festival VIEW FLYER
  • February 3 – 28 – The Forgotten Exodus – An American Refuge, portrait exhibition at the University of Miami Gallery, Wynwood District, Miami VIEW FLYER
  • March 4 – From the Spanish Inquisition to the Present – The Search for Jewish Roots, Miami Beach JCC, Lecture by Genie Milgram, Introduced by Henry Green
  • April 6 – Greater North Miami Historical Society, Lecture on Sephardi in South Florida, lecture by Henry Green
  • April 10 – Temple Judea, Miami, The Forgotten Exodus, lecture by Henry Green
  • Multimedia Portrait Exhibition and event, Schwartz Reisman JCC, Toronto
  • Multimedia Portrait Exhibition, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa Ontario
  • Portrait Exhibition, Florida International University, Hubert Library, Miami

Featured Sponsors:

Sabet Family Foundation (Miami)

Robert and Dennis Shasha (New York)

Ezra Zilkha Z”L (New York)

Congregation Beth Jacob (Miami)

Robert and Richard Mashaal (Montreal)

Sylvain Foundation (New York)

Richard Stursberg (Toronto)

Dangoor Education (London)

Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal

Director’s message

In 2005 in Jerusalem, I invited other Jewish scholars to join me in launching a new ambitious project. I called it “The Forgotten Exodus”. There was sparse information on the remarkable Sephardi population who had to flee their native lands in North Africa, the Middle East and Iran. Following Steven Spielberg’s Shoah model, the idea was to collect as many testimonies as possible of the near-million Jews who were now scattered far and wide.

Sephardi Voices International was born in 2009, with its core initiative the International Audio-Visual History Project.

Over the last decade, more than 400 people have been interviewed in Canada, the USA, the UK, France, Italy, and Israel. We have produced two films and are in the process of developing portrait exhibitions that will soon open in Montreal, Toronto and Miami. The Sephardi Voices archive collection will be hosted by the National Library of Israel and available online to everyone for free.

Sephardi Voices’ mission is a simple one: to foster the legacy of Jews from Islamic lands and to reframe the narrative of Jewish history and Zionism—one that has a Sephardi voice.

We are grateful for the many volunteers who have supported us in so many ways. I look forward to continuing to share the funny, touching, insightful and heroic voices of the Sephardi with all of you.

Henry Green
Executive Director

In the spotlight: Liam Sharp

When the Iraqi Jewish Voices exhibit opens this month at the Museum of Jewish Montreal (Sept. 20-Oct. 22), its dramatic photography will be on display, bringing to life and into focus the people who represent this 2,000-year-old community. The photographer is Liam Sharp, and the unique style he brings to bear in the exhibit promises to surprise and move visitors.

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In the spotlight: Robert Mashaal

It was only after a March of the Living trip to Poland—the annual educational program that brings students from around the world to better understand Holocaust history—that Robert Mashaal began to think seriously about promoting awareness about the story of Iraqi Jews of Arab and Muslim countries more broadly.

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Shalom from Israel

A message from our Israel Director Tamar Morad.

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