Iranian Jewry is the oldest documented community in the world, having resided in Persia continuously for almost three thousand years. Yet in no other country in the Diaspora have the Jews suffered from so many centuries of unrelenting oppression and mortifying legal restrictions.
At the instigation of cruel despots and the extremely hostile and fanatical mujahaddin (Shiite clergy), thousands of Jews were slaughtered, while those who managed to survive existed in conditions of the most brutal penury and dehumanization. On numerous occasions Jewish communities escaped annihilation only by embracing Islam. At one time possibly numbering in the millions, the entire Jewish population of Persia was several times brought almost to the brink of extinction.
In this lecture we will survey the story of the Jews of Persia from Queen Esther to the rise of the Ayatollahs. A segment of the lecture will be devoted to the fascinating community of Djadid al-Islam (crypto-Jews) of the holy Shiite city of Mashhad.
Ken Blady is a Jewish educator, author and translator of eight works from Yiddish. He was born in Paris, France, and grew up in Chassidic Brooklyn where he attended yeshiva and rabbinical seminary. A San Francisco Bay Area resident since 1972, Ken has a BA in history from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in clinical counseling from California State University, East Bay. He is the author of Jewish Communities in Exotic Places
, among other works. Ken has been featured on radio and TV talk shows, including The History Channel documentary Operation Magic Carpet
, about the airlift of the Jews of Yemen to Israel.
Daytime Adult Learning and Culture Programs are made possible in part by the John R. Schwabacher Family as well as a grant from the Maimonides Fund at the Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund of San Francisco, The Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma and the East Bay.
Tuesday, November 10
Schultz Cultural Arts Hall
$15 or one punch ($10) of the Community Tuesdays Punch Card
No advance registration required for this event
Contact: Michelle Rosengaus | (650) 223-8616 | [email protected]