Sefarad: The Untold Story that Changed the World – Part 1

Sunday, Aug 1, 2021

Sunday, August 1 at 1 pm ET
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In the Beginning: From King Solomon to the Ends of the Earth

The history of the Jews in Spain evokes both great achievements and the depths of despair. In this presentation, Dr. Isaac Amon will take us from the early arrival of the Jews to the Iberian Peninsula, through the “Golden Age”, a time of intellectual, social, and financial achievements to the dark periods of riots, massacres, and forced conversions, concluding with the creation of the Inquisition and the expulsion of Spanish Jewry which led to the Sephardic diaspora and forever changed the course of history. The program will also feature,Dr. Michelle G Willmer, a dramatic and evocative award-winning composer, conductor and educator who will share with us a part of her moving musical arrangement “A Letter Fell Out of the Sky”, a two-movement piece commemorating the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

About the three part Series:

Jewish history and communal life on the Iberian Peninsula originated in the time of the Roman Empire. Under Moslem rule, prosperous, flourishing, and well-integrated Jewish communities achieved financial, social, and intellectual success and during the Golden Age, Spain became the center of the Jewish world in Europe. However, due to political and social developments in the Late Middle Ages, life markedly changed as persecution, discrimination, and forced conversions ensued, culminating with the royal decree to expel Spanish Jewry in 1492. This infamous edict, which followed a long trend in European history, led to the Sefardic Diaspora as Iberian Jewry sought new places of refuge, creating new worlds for themselves and their descendants. Yet, more than five centuries later, the ancestral call of Sefarad remains.

Parts 2 of this series can be rewatched anytime here.

Part 3 of this series will take place at 1pm September 19. Stay tuned for more information.


This program is being presented by the Jewish Heritage Alliance in partnership with The National Museum of American Jewish History, ANU Museum of the Jewish People, Museum of Jewish Heritage, The American Sephardi Federation’s Institute of Jewish Experience, JewishGen, Fundación HispanoJudía, EJCC European Jewish Community Center, University of Miami (Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies and the George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies), and the Dahan Center at Bar Ilan University.