Hello everyone and welcome to today's
event. Um my name is Ali Bedhad and I'm
the Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies
here at UCLA. And on behalf of my
colleagues at the Center, I would like to
welcome you to the first Averroës lecture
of this academic year.
Before i turn the virtual podium to my
colleague Aomar Boum who will introduce
Dr. Daniella Farah,
I would like to take this opportunity to
thank my colleagues at the Center for
Near Eastern Studies
and the Leve Center for Jewish Studies
for their leadership roles in making
this lecture series possible. I would
like to thank especially Sarah Stein and
uh and Aomar, his intellectual leadership
has really been central um to uh these
Also I would like to give a shout out to
our stellar staff Johanna Romero and
Christian Rodriguez for their logistical support.
For those of you who are not familiar
with the Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA,
CNES is a research hub where over 100
faculty from humanities, social sciences,
arts, and the law school collaborate in a
variety of research and pedagogical
projects on the Middle East and North Africa.
Now today's talk is part of our Averroës
Lecture Series that has been um
underwritten by a generous anonymous
donor and which focuses on the Jewish
communities living in the Muslim land
prior to 20th century.
We have named the series Averroës, the
latin name of Ibn Rushd, the 12th century
Andalusian polymath whose
integrated Islamic tradition
with ancient Greek
to the point to the rich
to point to the rich history of
Cordoba's Jewish muslim relation as a
model of coexistence and connections
between Averroës and Jewish philosophy
both of whom were committed to
intellectual exchange and communal life
And now i would like to briefly
introduce my colleague Aomar Boum
who is a sociocultural anthropologist
here at UCLA
and now the program director of the
Mellon grant on minorities in the Middle East.
His stellar ethnographic work addresses
the place of religious and ethnic
minorities in MENA region. He has
published widely on this topic.
His publications include an important book
Memories of Absence
How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco
which was published by Stanford
University Press and recently
A collection with Sarah Stein, The
Holocaust and North Africa which was
published by Stanford
University Press as well this past
couple years ago. So
Aomar, the virtual podium is yours.
thanks everyone for being here
many regions of the Middle East and
the Alliance Israelite Universelle
was meant to usher indigenous urban and
rural Jewish communities
into modernity through education.
Jewish economic and social emancipation
was a broader objective
of the Paris-based Jewish organization.
Today the archives of the Alliance
Israélite Universelle in Paris,
mainly, one of the most important source,
the historical research
and writing about these communities.
Their sociocultural and political
and relations to the broader Muslim
world and societies.
Building on the work
of Aron Rodrigue
and using partly
this archival material,
Dr. Daniella Farah
brings a different historical
on the Alliance Israélite Universelle
by focusing on
Iran. Dr. Farah received her PhD
in Jewish history from Stanford
University in 2020-21.
She is currently Samuel W. and
Goldye Marian Spain Postdoctoral Fellow
in Jewish Studies at Rice University
and the recipient of a 2021
Salo Baron New Voices in Jewish Studies
Award and a 21-22
Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture grant.
Iran had the second largest number of
Alliance Israélite Universelle schools
numbering around 13
after Morocco, which had about 31.
In her dissertation,
Dr. Farah examines Iran's Jewish
communities between the mid-1940s
and the early 1980s
through the prisms of education,
the Jewish press,
Focusing on the themes of education,
Dr. Farah demonstrates how Jews
integrated into the broader
non-Jewish Iranian polity
and made claims of belonging to the
It is my pleasure to
Farah today as our winter 2021 Averroës
lecture speaker. She will be talking
about Jews and education in modern Iran
integration and identity.
Dr Farah, the floor is yours.
Thank you so much for that introduction.
I'm just going to share screen right now.
Uh great okay, so first of all I want to
begin by thanking Dr. Behdad and Dr.
Boum as well as the Center for Near
Eastern Studies and the Alan D Leve
Center for Jewish Studies for giving me
this amazing opportunity to speak here
today and I shouldn't forget also
Christian Rodriguez for putting all this
Um it's a real pleasure to be presenting
my work to you all and I look forward to
hearing your questions afterward. And as
uh Dr. Boum stated the talk is called
Jews and Education in Modern Iran: Upward
Mobility, Integration, and Identity.
This talk will explore the 20th century
history of Jews and Education in Iran
through the intersecting themes of
upward mobility, interreligious
encounters, and integration.
And um I'll pay specific attention to
the schools of the Alliance Israélite Universelle
which was a transnational Jewish
established in Paris in 1860.
So I'm going to go back to the first
slide very briefly.
You might be wondering why I titled the
talk Jews and Education rather than
merely Jewish education.
So the reason that I do that is that
in addition to discussing some of the
Jewish schools that function in Iran
such as those of the Alliance,
I'll also talk about the increasing
tendency beginning in the 1950s of
Jewish parents to remove their children
from Jewish schools and place them in
And at the same time that this was
happening there was also a growing
enrollment of non-Jews in Jewish schools.
So this presence of Jews and non-Jewish
schools and non-Jews in ewish schools
may seem paradoxical,
but it was in fact a crucial way in
which these communities interacted and
And so ultimately I argue both in this
talk and in my broader research that
because Jews and non-Jews encountered
one another on a near daily basis in
schools and universities, education
facilitated the integration of Jews into
the larger Iranian polity.
for this talk I'll be looking at the
period of the Pahlavi dynasty which
reigned from 1925 to 1979
but I'll be focusing specifically on the
um second path of Mohammed Reza Shah
featured here. He um was the son of the
first Pahlavi Shah and he gained power in
1941 after his father's force abdication.
So why do I focus specifically on his
rule, on the second Shah's rule?
The reason is that um this was a period
in which Iranian Jews experience massive
and integrated into many facets of
Iranian society and not to mention his
reign was one in which we see a lot of
massive transformations in education in
Now I am going to give a little bit of a
the history of Iranian Jews in the mid
20th century although it's of course
I'll just be touching the surface.
Habib Levy an Iranian Jewish scholar in
Tehran who was born or born in Tehran in 1896
wrote in his Comprehensive History
of the Jews of Iran
um the common diasporic Iranian Jewish
narrative that life under the Pahlavis
especially under Mohammed Reza Shah
was like paradise for the Jews.
Other scholars and non-scholars alike
often corroborate this claim by stating
that Jews gain growing liberties
and freedoms under the rule of the
And if you speak to any Iranian Jew in
the U.S. today some of whom are I think
in this audience,
many attribute the improvement in the
status of Jews directly to the rule of
Mohammed Reza Shah.
And so in bringing this up I'm not
trying to dispute the fact that Jews
indeed flourished under his reign but
rather I think that as scholars we need
to complicate this idea of a monarch
or in this case of a Shah being good for
So but of course under Mohammed Reza
Shah, the 80 to 100 000 Jews in Iran did
become prominent in commerce,
the medical and pharmaceutical fields,
and were over represented in schools and
universities as students and instructors.
Jews operated their own schools,
synagogues, newspapers, philanthropies and
and engagement in a diverse array of
professions and activities brought Jews
into contact with the larger non-Jewish
world and reinforced their rootedness in
the social, cultural, and economic facets
of Iranian life.
In other words Jews were active Iranian
citizens who crafted multi-layered
identities as both ardent Iran patriots
and devout Jews, and of course these two
identities were not mutually exclusive.
Now uh I'll be focusing a bit on the
again a bit of background. So this was a
philanthropic or is a philanthropic
French Jewish organization
founded in Paris in 1860 by a group of
acculturated French Jews.
The Alliance, as far as their aims uh
they strove for Jewish rights throughout
the world, aimed to defend Jews wherever
they were persecuted, and worked to bring
about the emancipation of unemancipated Jews.
The founders believed that Eastern Jews
and of course this is very problematic
um were backwards and superstitious and
that they needed exposure to European
specifically French education in order
to be worthy of emancipation.
So to that end they began building
schools in 1862 throughout the middle
East, North Africa and the Balkans and
ultimately established a wide network of
schools that extended from Morocco in
the west to Iran and the east.
These schools based their curriculum on
the French national system with french
of course serving as the main language
They taught both secular subjects such
as history, math, the sciences as well as
Hebrew and Jewish history but of course
Hebrew was not really taught as a living
language at least not for many years.
So I have two, I have one graph and one a
chart and a map here that I want to talk
a little bit about with you all because
I think they're they're very interesting.
So the Alliance established its first
school in Iran in 1898 in Tehran. As you
can see here this is a chart showing the
years and locations in which Alliance
schools were established.
And then between 1900 and 1930, the
Alliance founded girls, boys, and co-ed
schools in almost a dozen other cities
throughout the country.
And I'm going to pause on this map which
uh also shows where the different Alliance
schools were established in Iran and i
think it's quite striking because it
shows that prior to the 1940s when
Iranian Jews and non-Jews start to
experience massive urban migration,
Jews really lived throughout through
like all all throughout Iran. Um and in
fact the Alliance wasn't actually able
to build schools in every single city uh
for example in the northeastern city of
Mashhad, Jews appeal to the Alliance to
build schools there for them but they
So suffice it to say the Iranian Jewish
communities lived all over Iran prior to
Before I launch into my discussion of
Jews and Education in Iran, it's
important to talk about the
nationalization of education under the
because this is very crucial to the
history of Jewish schools in Iran.
Historian Abbas Amanat states quote, "more
than the army, economy, and infrastructure,
the growth of public education shaped
Pahlavi society and its nationalist
And I'd have to agree with this
Education was central to the nationalist
projects of Reza Shah and his son
Mohammed Reza Shah.
The nationalist rhetoric of these two
monarchs stressed the glories of Iran's
pre-islamic culture and history.
It aimed to homogenize an ethnically and
linguistically heterogeneous population
and significantly for education,
it used the Persian language as a means
to cultivate national support.
For Reza Shah education was one of the
most powerful tools for unifying Iran as
a nation and he aimed to bring uh to use
it to bring all Iranian citizens under
his chief authority. So between 1927 and
1939, The Ministry of Education
instituted a uniform system of textbooks,
exams, and curricula that most schools
throughout Iran were required to
implement, including Alliance schools which
I'll get to later.
Mohammed Reza Shah, like his father,
also argued that education was critical
for developing national
and for preserving national unity. So he
dictated that all Iranian children
should have similar schooling, a
knowledge of iran's history and cultural
heritage, and should be taught
exclusively in Persian.
This linguistic element is especially
important because at the time and even
you know even today,
almost half of the entire population of
Iran spoke Persian as a first language.
So the imposition of Persian in schools
impacted large swaths of the population,
not only religious minorities.
And it's also important to note that the
process of educational nationalism that
occurred in Iran was not unique.
Indeed nationalization of education
which is of course a part of the broader
state building project
was a transnational phenomenon that
happened in many places including Turkey
But the nationalization of education in
Iran did greatly impact foreign and
religious minority schools which
Zoroastrian, Armenian, Jewish, and
Christian missionary schools.
An educational decree of 1927 for
example dictated that all schools
carrying four names were required to
adopt Persian ones. And this is how the
Alliance came to choose
the title [...] which is the direct
translation into Persian and Arabic for
Alliance. So you find this also in
schools in Morocco it's [...]
And then a 1928 decree required that all
foreign schools implement Persian as the
primary language of instruction, which
again was a big deal because in a number
of minority and foreign schools, Persian
had not been the main language of
instruction. For example, in Bahai'i
schools, it was English. In Armenian
schools, it was Armenian.
and but it was really the Baha'i schools
in Iran that felt the sting of these
decrees as Reza Shah closed all of them
And by 1940 the government had assumed
complete control over all Presbyterian
The Alliance would spare the fate of
Baha'i and Missionary schools and was
able to continue running at schools for
Yet one could argue that after education
in Iran was nationalized, the Alliance
largely lost control of their schools as
they were forced to curtail the
cornerstone of their educational work,
the teaching of French.
So as I mentioned, before prior to
French was the main language of
instruction in Alliance schools but then
afterwards it was relegated to the
status of a foreign language with highly
Furthermore the schools were required to
completely follow the state mandated
school curriculum with the addition of a
few hours of Hebrew and Jewish studies.
The Alliance, of course did not take well
to the Persianization of its schools. In
many letters and reports I've come
across in the Alliance archives, the
teachers and directors complained that
they had to reduce the hours of French
offered and that the Ministry of
Education subjected them to frequent
and often intrusive inspections.
But of course, they had no choice but to
acquiesce to the state's strong
In addition to Alliance schools,
other prominent Jewish schools in Iran
included the transnational Ozar Hatorah
schools I have a picture featured here
community schools and the Jewish
vocational arts schools.
Ozar Hatorah was a Jewish organization
dedicated to bringing orthodox Jewish
education to Jews in the Middle East,
North Africa and France. It built its
first school in Iran in the 1940s and
attempted to inculcate its students with
an Eastern European brand of orthodox
Judaism. And as you might imagine this
did not go over well with a lot of the
There was also a
educational transnational educational
network called ORT
which was founded in St Petersburg in
1880. And they operated vocational
schools in Iran for nearly 30 years
beginning in 1950.
And ORT is especially important because
it consistently maintained a significant
non-Jewish student body.
Last, there were also community-run
Jewish schools such as [XXXX] [XXXX]
and Ruhi Shad and I want to just draw some
attention attention to this image here
which uh features my father, he's the boy
with the um glasses
this school was established in the early
And then lastly the last I think one
more organization I need to mention is
the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee or the JDC.
It was a philanthropic American Jewish
organization that emerged on the
educational sphere in Iran in 1949 and
subsidized a number of educational,
medical, and clothing distribution
in Jewish schools in Iran but they also
benefited non-Jews as well.
Now I will turn to the theme of upward
mobility of Iran's Jews.
Throughout the first half of the 20th
century Iran's Jews like the majority of
the Iranian nation were desperately poor.
The main professions of Jews by 1945
were as peddlers, cloth sellers, grocers,
refuse collectors and petty merchants.
A select few were doctors, government
employees, and wealthy industrialists but
they remain in the few.
However Jews did begin to experience
unprecedented upward mobility in the
and there are several reasons for this
but I'll focus on one in particular,
And the education offered by the
Alliance was especially crucial in
bringing about this mobility.
So on the most basic level, acquisition
of French allowed some of the graduates
of Alliance schools in Iran to establish
business partnerships with European
Moreover, according to the memoirs of [...]
an Iranian Jew who served
as teacher and director to several
Alliance schools in Iran,
an Alliance education helped many of
its graduates enter universities
and of course the university education
allowed them to climb the socio-economic
ladder as many Jews studied in the
fields of medicine, science, pharmacy, and
In 1952 Stanley Abramovic JDC director
to Iran between 1949 and 1952
conveys in a very problematic way how
such an education
in his opinion benefited the Jews of
Iran. So he writes the AIU meaning the
Alliance has played a very important
part in the life of the Iranian Jewry,
those Jews who left the ghetto, those
Jews who advanced in life
those Jews who are the wealthy Jews of
those Jews progress because of the
education they received in the AIU
In towns where the AIU had been working
for many years, the Jewish community is
wealthier, stronger, healthier
whereas in towns where the AIU has not
been working, the Jewish community is
And then more to the point in 1967 [...]
an Iranian Jew and director of the
alliance high school in Tehran,
stated that of the 700 doctors dentists
and pharmacists and 1 000 tradesmen
among the Jews in Iran, quote "almost all
were our former students," end quote. So in
other words, many of the Jews who attained
very reputable jobs by the 50s and 60s
had received an education at the Alliance.
So these few examples and there are many
more demonstrate that Alliance education
helped facilitate the upper mobility of
at least a certain subset of Iran's Jews,
but we must bear in mind the problematic
nature of some of these arguments as
they posited that before the arrival of
the Alliance, Iranian Jews were on the
whole backwards, degenerate, and
uncivilized and needed the helping hand
of western Jews to uplift them. And in
fact I found some evidence in the
archives of a school
a local Jewish school that had been
subsumed into the Alliance,
but then later broke away from the
the audience's paternalistic attitudes
towards the Jews as their reason for
Um I'd like to argue though that what
is perhaps the best evidence of the
Alliance's role in helping the Jews
achieve upward mobility is that many of
its students, boys and girls, were
admitted to universities at a time when
admission was highly competitive. So I'll
just give a couple of statistics that I
i've compiled throughout my research.
So in the 1973-1974 exam,
85 percent of the Alliance students who
took the concours which were these um
college entrance exams were admitted to
universities. So 85 percent of the
Alliance high school students while only
12 percent of those who took it at the
national level were admitted.
And then in 1975 um 88 of Alliance high
school students who took the concours
were admitted into university whereas
only 10 percent of those who applied on
the national level were admitted.
It's not entirely clear what accounts
for these exceptional results, the level
of success of these students is
especially perplexing considering that
the Alliance directors and teachers
continuously complain in their letters
and reports from the 60s and 70s that
due to a shortage of qualified teachers
and modern teaching equipment, the
standard of education was suffering.
High rates of literacy among Iran's Jews
may explain why Jews were so
overrepresented in Iranian universities.
For example in a 1971 speech [...]
the Jewish member of
parliament expressed gratitude to the
alliance for the quote immense progress
that the Alliance
allowed us to realize in Iran end quote.
And then he remarked that
due to the education the schools offered
there were quote hardly any illiterate
Jews in Iran.
But it wasn't only Alliance graduates
who were overrepresented in universities
but Jewish students on the whole.
Moreover there were many Jewish
professors in Iranian universities
a significant presence in centers of
higher education was one avenue through
which the Jews were able to integrate
into the larger Iranian society because
in these spaces,
they interacted almost daily with
And now I'll turn to the theme of
inter-religious encounters and education.
My research shows that education in Iran
provided Jews a space in which they
could interact and form meaningful
relationships with non-Jews.
I found that throughout their more than
80 years in Iran for example Alliance
schools consistently maintained a mixed
student body that included Jews and
non-Jews. The alliance interestingly
actively sought the enrollments of
non-Jews because their presence enhanced
the prestige of the schools,
helped Jews build positive relationships
with non-Jews and even alleviated
For example in the first half of the
20th century in cities like Isfahan and
Kermanshah, local government officials
would send their own children to
Alliance schools because at the time
they happened to be the best schools in
the city and so as a result the Alliance
and Jews more broadly benefited from a
positive relationship with local Muslim
Not only did Jewish schools contain many
non-Jewish students but many non-Jewish
teachers taught in these schools and
Jewish schools were required to have at
least one Muslim principle after
At the same time that there were
non-Jews and Jewish schools
beginning in the 1950s, Jews became
prominent in non-Jewish schools which
I'll discuss more at length in the talk.
So in Jewish and non-Jewish schools,
therefore Jews sat side by side Muslim,
Baha'i, Christian, and Zoroastrian students.
Persian language oral histories and
memoirs revealed that in educational
spaces, Jews formed friendships with
non-Jews that extended well beyond the
So to drive the point
home even further,
Jewish schools were sites in which Jews
could interact frequently and
meaningfully with non-Jewish students
I'll now turn to a few examples of this.
Uh Parvine Motamed, an Iranian Jewish
woman born in Hamadan in October 1927
did her primary schooling in the Alliance
school of Jamadan and she actually just
recently passed away.
She completed her secondary schooling in
Tehran, obtaining a bachelor's degree in
French and English at the university of
Tehran and later a master's degree.
A thoroughly educated woman, she went on
to become the general director of ORT in Iran.
In an oral history, Motamed praised the
alliance for cultivating an environment
in which students of different faiths
she stated that the Alliance schools of
Hamadan quote was truly a multicultural
school where Jewish, Muslim, and Christian
students were attending. There was no
difference in the treatment we all
received. There was no feeling of
anti-semitism in our school.
Moreover Motamed met asserted that as a
result of her time at Alliance schools she
formed friendships with several Muslim
which which she actually maintained even
after leaving Iran.
But Motamed's rosy depiction of
interfaith coexistence in Alliance schools
didn't extend to the general public.
Indeed she acknowledged that while on
the Alliance school represented quote an
exemplary multicultural environment end
quote, the Hamadan of her childhood was a
quote center for Muslim mullahs and an
anti-semitic city end quote.
But according to Motamed, the fortune
of Hamadan's Jews improved after Reza Shah
visited Alliance schools there. Which
I have a picture featured here.
So she says that after this points quote
the attitude of the mullahs and the
general public change toward the jewish
Along these lines Dr. Nourani president of
the Jewish Council of Hamadan declared
in a 1973 letter to the Alliance that
the school in Hamadan had quote
abolished divisions and erased
misunderstandings that have clouded the
relations between Jews and non-Jews in
the past and has succeeded in generating
and maintaining an atmosphere of mutual
help and sympathy between us Jews and
This vision of the Alliance
in Hamadan is serving to eliminate
discord and create unity between Jews
and non-Jews is in line with Motamed's
praise of the
alliance. And then uh one last example um
Nasser Rassekh director of the Alliance
schools of [...] similarly
proclaimed in a 1967 letter to the
Alliance that the schools facilitated an
understanding between Jews and muslims
in [...]. So he wrote thus over the years,
a spirit of understanding has developed
between the Jewish and Muslim
communities that is the result of the
existence of the Alliance school in the
city. Sitting side by side on the benches
in our classroom Jews and Muslims have
learned over the years the principles of
While there are slight differences
between these three accounts, they hold
one sentiment in common. The
multicultural and multi-religious
environments of Alliance schools helped
pave the way for positive interactions
between Jews and non-Jews in Iran.
Interfaith mixing also occurred in other
jewish schools such as that of the
prestigious jewish [...] school. [...]
was established in 1946 by
wealthy Baghdadi Jews and was known for
providing the highest quality of
education with a well-trained staff and
top-notch facilities. It attracted the
children of middle and upper class
Jewish families and unlike other Jewish
schools in Iran which progressively saw
a decline in their enrollments from the
late 1960s onward, [...] actually
experienced a steady increase in its
It excelled in teaching English and a
high percentage of its graduates went on
But despite being an explicitly jewish
consistently had a non-jewish student
In a Persian language interview which I
actually located at UCLA's oral history
a Dr. Baruch [...] director of [...]
from 1968 to 1978
and former physics professor at the
university of Tehran described the
student body at the school.
He said that he quote, never aimed for
the school to be an entirely Jewish
school end quote. And that quote, there
were always about twenty percent
non-Jewish students including Muslims
Baha'is and Christians. Beruchim
therefore made a concerted effort to
accept non-Jews into his school.
Indeed he recalls how an irate Iranian
Jewish man once
approached him and asked him why he
admitted so many non-Jews.
After noting that many Jews in Iran
attended non-Jewish schools and
universities he responded quote, when
they accept us how can we not accept
I also conducted oral histories with
several Jewish graduates of the school
and in one interview upon asking what the
non-Jewish student body was like, my
you never got the feeling that they had
any sort of prejudice against the Jews. I
don't know if it was because the
environment was majority Jewish, but I
didn't really get that feeling. The
feeling was that we're all friends and
we're all equal.
I'm now going to move a bit back in time
to discuss an important development in
Jewish education which started to occur
in the 1950s and continued over the next
few decades. In the early 1950s Jewish
parents began removing their children
from Jewish schools and placing them in
And this happened for several reasons.
First, Jewish schools were located in the
Mahallas, which were the Jewish
mahallas were very far from the homes of
the newly wealthy jewish families and so
for very pragmatic reasons parents
didn't want to send their children
traveling long distances to get to
Second and relatedly, as Jews were
climbing the social ladder, they didn't
want to send their children to schools
with substandard facilities. And Alliance
schools eventually gained a reputation
for catering to the poor.
So these Iranian Jewish parents chose to
send their children to state schools
because they had attained the reputation
of offering a higher quality of
So there was very much a class element here.
Third increase commercial activity
um Iran and the anglo-American sphere
and with the United States gaining
political preeminence in Iran after the
second world war, we find that english
started to beg to dominate as a foreign
language to the uh over French.
So Iranian parents, Jews and non-Jews
alike, wanted their children to learn
english rather than French.
numerous sources argue that Iranian
jewish parents actively sought out
non-Jewish schools because they believed
that their children needed to interact
with non-jews to succeed in Iranian
Interestingly according to the scholar
Janet Kestenberg Amighi, upwardly mobile
Zoroastrian parents similarly chose to
send their children to public schools
claiming that they quote needed to learn
to get along in a Muslim majority world
At the same time that Jews were leaving
Jewish schools in droves, non-Jews were
attending Aliance schools in large
numbers. I don't have time really to get
into that now, but I'm happy to address that
in the Q&A, why non-jews were so
attracted to Alliance's schools.
So as other schools in Iran began to
experience a marked growth in the
enrollment of non-jews, they also saw a
sharp decline in Jewish enrollment
and then its overall enrollment also
began to decrease from its height in
1950 when the Alliance had nearly 8 300
students to 1978 when it had only 3 400 students.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, Alliance
officials frequently and fervently
complained about the dwindling
enrollment of Jewish students and the
increase in non-ewish students, often
referring to it as an invasion.
This simultaneous decrease in Jewish
enrollment and increase in non-Jewish
enrollment mostly affected the
provincial Alliance schools such as
those of Hamadan and Kermanshah.
The attendance of Jews and state schools
and that of non-Jews and Jewish schools
became so prevalent that by the early
1970s over half of all school-aged
Jewish children were attending
non-jewish elementary schools.
Even more astonishing by 1978,
more than half of all Alliance students
The attendance of jews at religiously
diverse schools in Iran, both Jewish run
and state operated
facilitated the integration of Jews into
the broader Iranian society by providing
them with spaces to interact daily and
meaningfully with non-jews.
To conclude in this talk, I hope I
demonstrated the critical role
that education played in helping Jews
achieve significant upper mobility and
integrate into their larger national
Applying an educational and
transnational lens to the history of
Iranian Jews, I believe can help us
understand how minorities living under
new nation states position themselves
vis-a-vis the state and the dominant
population. Thank you.
Thank you so much and
thank you for coming and joining us
and for your wonderful um talk today. I
also like to thank Aomar for um
the introduction and and
handling the questions and answers. I
would like to draw your attention to our
website where you will see recorded of
lectures from this series as well as other
events that we've had that is available
and also to encourage you to join us
in the future
as we are
we will have more talks both uh in
this series as well as other events.
And thanks again and uh pretty wonderful
to uh see you all here at this talk and we
hope to see you soon.
thank you so much everyone.