Transnational Jewish Networks in Hashemite Iraq: Diaspora, Development and Interdependence

Averroës Lecture Series

Transnational Jewish Networks in Hashemite Iraq: Diaspora, Development and Interdependence

Piano class at the Laura Kadoorie Alliance Israèlite Universelle School, Baghdad, Iraq. Photo courtesy of the Alliance Israèlite Universelle Archives, Paris, France.

A lecture by Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Thursday, February 23, 2023
12:00 PM (Pacific Time)
10383 Bunche Hall

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The period between 1920-1950 represents the height of Jewish participation in Iraqi civil society. Jews were active in the civil service, held high government posts, flourished in commerce, enjoyed tremendous socio-economic advancement. This ‘gold age’ of Iraqi Jewry was due in part, perhaps surprisingly, to the vibrant transnational networks in which Baghdadi Jews actively participated. This lecture explores the interplay between Baghdadi Jewish participation in multiple public spheres, specifically the global Jewish public sphere and the local pluralist Iraqi public sphere to better understand Jewish-Muslim relations in Iraq during the British Mandate and early years of the Iraqi state.

Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah is an assistant professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. She is specialized in the modern history of Middle Eastern and North African Jewry. My current research project rethinks the connection between transnational solidarity organizations and empire. The focus is on the centrality and agency of non-European elites, thereby challenging assumptions about the center and the periphery within colonial networks. She is the author of numerous scholarly and trade publications including her recent monograph Baghdadi Jewish Networks in the Age of Nationalism (Brill, 2021).

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies