Sephardic and Mizrahi Jew­ry: From the Gold­en Age of Spain to Mod­ern Times

Zion Zohar, ed.
  • Review
By – October 24, 2011
This col­lec­tion of schol­ar­ly arti­cles con­tributes to the grow­ing library of mate­ri­als avail­able relat­ed to the his­to­ry and cul­ture of Sephardic and Mid­dle East­ern Jew­ry. Focus­ing on Spain, North Africa, and the cen­tral areas of the for­mer Ottoman Empire, the stud­ies illus­trate the con­ver­gence of Span­ish and indige­nous Mid­dle East­ern (Mizrahi) cul­ture that crys­tal­lized in the 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies. The vol­ume begins with polit­i­cal, lin­guis­tic, lit­er­ary, rab­binic, and philo­soph­i­cal cov­er­age of Spain by such spe­cial­ists as Mark R. Cohen, David M. Bunis, Jonathan P. Dec­tor, Isaac Kali­mi, and Moshe Idel and an essay on the Judeo- Arab her­itage by Nor­man A. Still­man. Four arti­cles on cul­ture, jurispru­dence, kab­bal­ah, and women by Annette B. Fromm, Zvi Zohar, Mor­ris M. Faier­steine, and Pamela Dorn Sez­gin exam­ine Sephardic life in the Ottoman Empire. For the mod­ern era, there are con­tri­bu­tions by Mark Klig­man on music and Hen­ry Abram­son on the Holo­caust. Of spe­cial inter­est are Jonathan Schorsch’s study of ear­ly mod­ern Sephardim and blacks — an exam­ple of the emerg­ing field of Atlantic Stud­ies that exam­ines North African, Euro­pean and the Amer­i­can con­nec­tion in the ear­ly mod­ern peri­od — and Zion Zohar’s arti­cle on Sephardim and Ori­en­tal Jews in Israel. Index, notes.
Ree­va Spec­tor Simon is Pro­fes­sor of His­to­ry at Yeshi­va Uni­ver­si­ty. She is co-edi­tor and con­trib­u­tor to The Jews of the Mid­dle East and North Africa in Mod­ern Times (Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2003).

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