Upcoming Events

USA (10:30 am Pacific Time Zone / 1:30 pm Eastern Time Zone)

UK 6:30 pm / France 7:30 pm / Israel 8:30 pm

All talks will last approximately 90 minutes

Sunday, November 1

From Ethiopia to Israel: My Story, Our Journey

Zehava Tesfay  - The Beta Israel, or Ethiopian Jews, lived for centuries in northern and northwestern Ethiopia isolated from other Jews. During the later part of the 20th century most of the community immigrated to Israel. In this session we will embark on a journey from Ethiopia to Israel and learn about the Jewish Ethiopian community's way of life, traditions and reality. By engaging through a personal Aliyah story, we will learn about the identity, strengths, and activism of the community and their effort to realize the dream of reaching Jerusalem. We will also talk about the reality of life in Israel for the grandparents and parents' generation and for the second generation of Israeli- Ethiopians. Read more and sign up

Sunday, November 8

Salonica and Sarajevo:

Balkan Sephardi Metropolises

Dr. Joseph Benatov - As Sephardi Jews settled in the Ottoman Empire, Salonica and Sarajevo became two of the most important centers of Jewish life. Our talk will highlight some of the most important figures and events from the Jewish histories of these cities. How did the famous Sarajevo Haggadah survive both Nazi occupation and the Balcan Wars? What effect did the charismatic false messiah Sabbatai Zevi have on the Jews of 17th-century Salonica? We will also travel through these picturesque sites and visit their sumptuous synagogues, the iconic White Tower of Thessaloniki, the colorful Old Bazaar of Sarajevo, and much more. Read more and sign up

Sunday, November 15

Sefarad: Music of the Jews of Spain, Portugal and their diaspora

Judith Cohen - Sefarad is both a geographical place and a concept - it's Spain and Portugal, and it's the centuries and continents of the Sephardic diaspora, to the present. We'll travel - musically - from medieval Jewish life in Spain and Portugal through the diaspora in Morocco and the eastern Mediterranean, former Ottoman lands. Old ballads with hypnotizing stories, irresistible wedding song rhythms, songs of the Jewish calendar cycle and the popular love songs and songs of daily life will be presented both live and in archival recordings, with photos and stories of the Sephardim who kept this tradition alive against all odds. Read more and sign up

Sunday, November 22

The Jews of Iran: A 2600-year journey

Ruben Shimonov - Join us as we explore the rich, deep-rooted history of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world: the Jews of Iran. The origins of Iranian/Persian Jewry date back to late biblical times, and are mentioned in the books of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. Through music, photography, visual and literary arts, as well as historical sites, we will take a virtual journey to a region steeped in twenty-six centuries of uninterrupted Jewish history that continues to the present day. Read more and sign up

Sunday, November 29

Growing up Jewish in Uganda

Shoshana Nambi - The Abayudaya community was founded by a tribal chief who converted himself and many of his followers to Judaism in 1919. One hundred years later, there are nine synagogues in different Ugandan villages, three Jewish schools, and the community continues to grow. I will share the history of my community, as well as my own family story and journey to rabbinical school. I will also comment on my experiences living in Israel and America as a Ugandan Jew. Read more and sign up

Sunday, December 6

In partnership with

From the Pale of Settlement to the USSR and Beyond: The History of the Jews of Belarus

Debra Brunner and Artur Livshyts - Belarus' Jewish story is rich, vital, traumatic, fascinating and barely spoken of. Come on this journey through time and explore the story of Jewish Belarus across the centuries. An integral part of the predominant Lithuanian (Litvak) culture, its members have included artists like Chagall and Rabbis like Gaon of Vilnius. Learn directly from the Jewish activists who are helping the Belarusian communities today in order make them self-sustaining again. Read more and sign up

Past and Future Events

Jewish Romania: A century of upheaval and resurgence

Peninah Zilberman - Jews have been present in Romania since the times of the Roman Empire. Because of its geographical location, Romania has attracted European Jews through the ages due to exiles, pogroms and persecution. Jews who settled in Romania were responsible for the successful economic development of the cities; nevertheless, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Communism marked Jewish existence in the past century. We will explore the many facets the Romanian Jewry is famous for through stories, culture, and music. We will also learn how Jewish life is celebrated and observed today in the major Romanian cities. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Remember Baghdad

Edwin Shuker - In 2015 Edwin Shuker was asked if he had any film footage of Baghdad for a documentary that was being produced about the story of Jews in Iraq. The director was incredulous when Edwin offered to fly to Baghdad with the film crew and get the footage himself! In doing so he revisited his childhood home, which he had not seen since the day his family escaped for their lives when he was young. In addition to that, he even purchased a new house in the city of Erbil! Over the course of the trip and production, Edwin vividly relived his life and the life of 2000 years of Jewish history in Iraq. In this talk he will share that life and let you live it too. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Finland: Home of kosher reindeer and Kabbalat Shabbat at midnight

Mercédesz Czimbalmos and Dr. Dóra Pataricza

The Jewish minority of Finland, numbering approximately 1200 people, is organised into two centers in Helsinki and Turku, which makes it one of the northernmost Jewish communities in the world. Finland is one of the few countries with an Eastern European (Litvak) Jewish community that was unaffected by the Holocaust. Its double nature as an Orthodox-rooted yet progressive Jewish congregation also makes it unique in the world.  Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

From Yemen to Israel: Conversations with my Grandmother

Gavriella Bigio Dahan - The Jewish community of Yemen has existed since antiquity, but today comprises less than 50 affiliated members. The past century saw the largest waves of immigration to Israel, among which my grandmother took part. Through conversations with her, I learned both of her personal ordeal as a child thrust into the unknown, as well as the changing way of life for Yemenites in Israel. They and their descendants have made their mark in Israeli society and have contributed much to religious study, music, crafts and, of course, food. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Two people, one womb: The Jews of Italy

Miriam Camerini  - Jews have been living in Italy since the last centuries before Christ, even before the destruction of the second Temple. They've adopted local music, food, language, style and customs. There have been tough times, but overall it is a story of co-existence and mutual respect. We'll explore the history of Jews during the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the ghettos of Venice, Mantua and Rome through emancipation, World Wars and the present day. We'll discover language, poetry, music, theatre, liturgy and - of course - cuisine. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

At the Crossroads of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Worlds: The Story of the Bukharian Jews

Ruben Shimonov  - The experience of the native Jews of Central Asia - Bukharian Jews - is situated at a unique intersection of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-speaking Jewish identities.  We will explore the eclectic story of this millennia-old Jewish community, discovering the ways in which Bukharian Jews have developed their multifaceted and rich culture, while also shedding light on how their journey fits into the broader historical saga of the Jewish people.  Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Polish Jews: Warsaw Ghetto remains and Jewish revival

Łukasz Godlewski - Before World War II, Warsaw was the second largest Jewish city in the world. After the Holocaust many survivors left Poland, but some stayed. In the last decades, young Polish people have been discovering their Jewish roots which was often hidden by their parents and grandparents. I am one of them, and I want to share my family's story with you. I will also take you on a virtual tour of the Warsaw Ghetto remains and show you how Jewish life in Warsaw has revived. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Golden Age, Silver Age: Jews of Spain yesterday and today

Dr. Victoria Atlas Prilutsky - Jewish History of Spain is one of the most glorious and most tragic passages in the history of Jewish People. For an hour and a half we'll be able to traipse together along those thrilling events and times: from the very beginning of Jewish presence and life in the Iberian peninsula, its flourishing, through its tragic interruption and into its recent revival (barely over a century ago) Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Jewish Bulgaria: A Virtual Sephardic Journey

Dr. Joseph Benatov  - Join us for a dynamic interactive trip through Bulgaria's rich Jewish heritage. You will have a chance to learn about the history and culture of the Bulgarian Sephardic Jews and the details surrounding the survival of 50,000 of them during the Holocaust. Joseph will also share personal family stories of growing up and being part of the country's vibrant. Jewish community.  Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

From the boats to the Pampas: History of the Jews in Argentina

Cecilia Cohen - The presence of Jews in Argentina goes back to the expulsion from Spain. In the late 19th century, masses of Ashkenazi immigrants fleeing Russia and Eastern Europe settled the country, becoming one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. Despite waves of antisemitism, xenophobia and terrorism, Jews have become fully integrated in most sectors of the society.  We will explore this rich history and the special mixture of cultures in wich generations of Argentinian Jews have grown up with. A mix full of life and hopes. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Jewish Mexico: from Inquisition to prosperity

Benito Gritzewsky - Among the earliest colonial settlers of Mexico were countless crypto-Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition. For the next 300 years they were persecuted to the point of total obscurity. Mexican independence brought freedom of worship, and conversos gradually displayed their faith again. In the 20th Century, Mexico welcomed thousands of Jews fleeing the Middle East and Europe, and the foundations of a thriving community were established. By the 1950's it had become one of the world's most prosperous, which continues to thrive to this day. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Rosh Hashana special: Tastes from the Danube Valley to the Jerusalem Highlands

David Laor, Israeli pastry chef,  invites you to his home kitchen in Jerusalem for a "Strudel Workshop'' . After reviving memories about this tasty sweet, you will dive into the art of making it. You will learn to bake two versions: the first is the classic one with apples, and then a savoury Israeli version with spinach, feta cheese and pine nuts. You will use the Viennese dough that you will prepare before the workshop based on instructions we will send you. 

Stories of Jewish Budapest: From affirmation to persecution and revival

Dora Koranyi - Budapest, the capital of Hungary, has one of the most fascinating Jewish cultures and history in Europe. It is a community that still flourishes in spite of the many difficulties it has had throughout its long history. I would like to invite you to a virtual tour, where I will share with you stories about this community, from the time of the Austrian empire, through the Holocaust and the communist era until our present time. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Greek Jewry: At the crossroads of civilizations

Joseph Michael Vardakis - The presence of Jews in Greece dates back to antiquity; it is the oldest Jewish community in the western hemisphere, it was the epicenter of Sephardi culture in Europe and boasted the unique Greek-speaking Romaniote community as well as Jews that had taken refuge there from all across Europe. At the start of WWII, Jews in Greece numbered around 80,000, however the Holocaust decimated the Jewish population. At present, the Jewish community is working to preserve its unique heritage.  Sign up to know when this talk is happening again

Turkish Jews: Jewish legacy in Anatolia and today's Turkey

Nisya Isman Allovi - Director Jewish Museum of Turkey 

The history of the Jews in Anatolia started 2400 years ago with the arrival of Romaniot, Mizrahim and Karaits followed later by Ashkenazim and Sephardic Jews. We will examine ancient synagogues, Jewish settlements and cemeteries belonging to different eras and traditions, as well as important events of WWI and WWII. Sephardic cuisine, music, Judeo Spanish language, ethnographic and liturgical objects from the museum collection will be explained. Finally we will explore today's vibrant Jewish life in Turkey. Sign up to know when this talk is happening again