Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Before It’s Too Late

Machla Abramovitz

Close to a million Jews fled their native Arab lands after 1948, leaving behind not only billions of dollars worth of confiscated wealth, but also thriving communities that had existed for centuries. But as memories fade and people pass on, who will be left to remember? Professor Henry Green is traveling the world in his race against time to record this forgotten exodus for future generations.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

There aren’t too many people who can compete withProfessorHenryGreen for the number of heartbreaking stories he’s heard over the past decade — stories of Jews expelled from their homes, of ancient traditions being lost to the next generation, of thriving communities looted and exiled. Close to a million Jews from Arab and Mediterranean lands, from Baghdad to Aleppo to Cairo to Casablanca, whose rich Jewish traditions go back many centuries, faced growing discrimination and brutality beginning in the 1940s, when violence and expulsion put an end to once-thriving communities and a rich heritage that went back hundreds, or even thousands, of years. But a majority of those displaced Sephardic Jews are no longer alive, and of the ones who are, many are no longer physically or mentally capable of sharing the personal testimonies of their early lives and the trauma of exile they faced. As memories fade and people pass on,ProfessorGreen is more desperate than ever to record the witnesses to this “forgotten exodus” in his own race against time to capture and document the lives of a Jewish populace on the verge of disappearing. Yet why is a Canadian-born, Ashkenazic-rooted sociologist and Judaic studies professor at the University of Miami so driven to preserve these testimonies, to the point where he created Sephardi Voices, a collection of digitally recorded audiovisual histories of hundreds of Sephardic emigrants? What has motivatedDr.Green to travel the world seeking out their stories before it’s too late?

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you