The Jews of the Islamic World in Modern Times: Transformation and Transplantation

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This webinar was held Tuesday, April 20 and led by Prof. Norman (Noam) Stillman, ASMEA Chairman and Schusterman/Josey Professor Emeritus of Judaic History at the University of Oklahoma.

In the middle of the 20th Century, there were approximately 1,000,000 Jews living in the Islamic world from Morocco to Afghanistan.  Some of these communities had their roots in Antiquity -- long before the advent of Islam, before most of what are now called Arab countries had any Arabs, before Turkey had any Turks.  This near extinction was not due to a Holocaust as the case of European Jewry.  Many historians and writers have seen the founding of the State of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict as the primary cause for the mass exodus. However, these were only the final manifestations of a complex variety of processes that transformed Middle Eastern Jews (along with Jews elsewhere) and their Muslim and Middle Eastern Christian neighbors over the past 150-200 years.  In this webinar, Prof. Stillman will examine processes that were part and parcel of Modernization that resulted in the transformation and the transplantation of these venerable Jewish communities.