Event details

  • Monday | April 5, 2021
  • 10:30 am

Monday, April 5 10:30 a.m. JOSEPH BENETOV SALONICA AND SARAJEVO: BALKAN SEPHARDI METROPOLISES As Sephardi Jews settled in the Ottoman Empire, Salonica became one of the most important centers of Jewish life. The city thus earned the monikers “Madre de Israel” (“Mother in Israel”) and “Jerusalem of the Balkans.” Further inland, multiethnic Sarajevo was also home to a thriving Jewish community and was sometimes referred to as Little Jerusalem. Our talk will highlight some of the most important figures and events from the Jewish histories of Salonica and Sarajevo. How did the famous Sarajevo Haggadah survive both Nazi occupation and the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s? Learn about the notable moment in the history of Bosnian Jews known as the Sarajevo Purim. What effect did the charismatic false messiah Sabbatai Zevi have on the Jews of 17th-century Salonica? We will also travel through the picturesque sites of Salonica and Sarajevo and visit their sumptuous synagogues, the iconic White Tower of Thessaloniki, the colorful Old Bazaar of Sarajevo, and much more.