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Images of North African Jews, Perceptions of American Jews, 1945-1954

Images of North African Jews, Perceptions of American Jews, 1945-1954

Date and time: June 4, 2020, 2 to 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)

Register here. (Admission is complimentary but an RSVP is required in order to access the Zoom webinar.)

The JDC Archives invites you to a webinar: “Images of Moroccan Jews and Perceptions of American Jews, 1942-1954.”

Dr. Michal Ben Ya’akov is a Speigel Fellow of the Arnold and Leona Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University. Previously, she was an associate professor of history at the Efrata College of Education, Jerusalem and the founding director of its unique graduate program in ‘Memory, Heritage and Education’. She is the recipient of the 2019 Fred and Ellen Lewis/JDC Archives Fellowship. Her current project at the JDC Archives continues previous research on JDC activities in Morocco during World War II and explores the perceptions of American Jews regarding North African Jews.

JDC has been instrumental in providing aid to the Jewish communities of North Africa since World War II. Assistance was first given to European refugees stranded in Morocco during the Holocaust through the work of Hélène Cazès Benatar, a Moroccan Jewish attorney and later the JDC representative in North Africa. In the aftermath of World War II, JDC’s fieldworkers worked with the local communities in areas of health, education and welfare. However, the picture of JDC activities in North Africa is not complete without examining the attitudes and perceptions of American Jews regarding this work. This lecture explores the subjective attitudes of American Jews in general, and JDC leaders and workers in particular, regarding Moroccan Jews and the impact of their perceptions on JDC activities in the critical decade after World War II.

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