Jewish Studies Course Development Summer Workshop

From Expulsion to Dispossession: The 500-years-long Journey of Sephardic Jews:
May 4 -8, 2015
9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Schwartz Viewing Room, Bracken Library

The Jewish Studies Project at Ball State University 
Funded by the Benjamin and Bessie Zeigler Fund, the Jewish Studies Project was established to provide the university and community with an understanding and an appreciation for Jewish history, Jewish culture and the Jewish faith. Specific initiatives include faculty development and course offerings in Jewish Studies; library acquisitions for the Bracken Library’s Judaica Collection; and support for programs, lectures and cultural events.

Jewish Studies Course Development Workshop
Open to all faculty and teaching graduate students, the 2015 workshop will explore the history of Sephardic Jews (the Jews from Iberia) from the expulsions from Spain in the late 15th century to their lives in Israel today. We will start with Jewish life in Iberia before the expulsion and the persecution of Jews there, and continue with the dispersal of Sephardi communities and the establishment of Sephardi centers in Western Europe and, mostly, the Ottoman Empire. In the latter, Jewish life thrived in the 16th-18th centuries. Then, due to social and political changes in the 19th century, the Jewish experience transformed considerably. We will explore those changes, and
explain why Zionism appealed less to Sephardic Jews than to their eastern European counterparts. Finally, we will discuss the second Sephardic/Mizrahi crisis, the mass migration of Sephardi-Mizrahi Jews from the Arab world in the 1940s and 50s, the destruction of many Diaspora communities, and those Jews’ experience in Israel and elsewhere in the second half of the 20th century.

Dr. Yaron Ayalon is an assistant professor of history at Ball State University. He is a historian of the Middle East and the Ottoman Empire, with special interest in the history of Sephardic Jews in the
Ottoman Empire and Israel. His book, published in November 2014 by Cambridge University Press,
deals with natural disasters in the Ottoman Empire. Ayalon has published articles on the history of the Ottoman Empire and Sephardic Jewry, and is also an editor for the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Before coming to Ball State, Ayalon taught Jewish, Israeli, and Middle Eastern history at the University of Oklahoma and Emory University. He received his BA in history and education from Tel Aviv University, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2009.

Library Resources
The Workshop will be held in Bracken Library’s Schwartz Viewing room with convenient access to library resources on Jewish subjects. Instruction in the use of pertinent library research tools will be available upon request.

Each participant in the full week’s workshop will receive $300 + required books

Limited to10 (regular or contract faculty or teaching graduate students). Early application is strongly advised.

Completed applications must be received by Monday, April 13, 2015. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by Monday, April 20, 2015. Questions and applications should be directed to Dr. Francine Friedman, Director of the Jewish Studies Project, NQ 261, Phone: 285-8788, e-mail:

Workshop funded by the Benjamin & Bessie Zeigler Fund and the Office of the Provost

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