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Jewish Africa Conference – Past, Present, and Future
January 29 @ 2:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST
7:00 – 9:00 PM
OPENING CULTURAL EVENING
Musical Groups; Welcome Remarks
9:00 AM-Registration & Refreshments
9:30 AM-Opening Remarks and Keynote
10:00 AM-Historical survey of North African Jewish life session
11:30 AM-Historical survey of Sub-Saharan African Jewish life session
2:30 PM-Contemporary life of North African Jewish people and sites
4:00 PM-Contemporary life of Sub-Saharan African Jewish people and sites
9:00 AM-Registration and Refreshments
9:30 AM-Encounters between Jews and non-Jews in contemporary Africa
11:00 AM-Diarna Introduction and Presentation
12:30 PM-Strategic planning lunch: Focus groups discussing plans and projects for the future of Jewish Africa
2:00 PM-Presentations of focus groups and projects for the future of Jewish Africa
4:30 PM-Closing remarks
Since Biblical times, from Abrahams journey to Egypt and the later Israelite captivity under the Pharaohs, the Jewish people have had close ties with Africa. Some Jewish communities in Africa are amongst the oldest in the world, dating back more than 2,700 years (Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria). Today, Jews and Judaism in Africa show an ethnic and religious diversity and richness almost unparalleled on any other continent.
A circle of emerging African leaders and researchers will analyze a broad spectrum of issues pertaining to the history and contemporary situation of Jewish Africa, including the role of Jews and the need of Jewish voices in African civil society, the development of Jewish space, perspectives on old and new African Jewish identities, and encounters between Jews and non-Jews in contemporary Africa.
TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED
Jewish heritage in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Ouganda, and South Africa; Black African Judaism; Future for Judaism in Africa; and preserving the memory and heritage of African Judaism in the 21st Century via Digital Heritage Mappings Diarna Geo-Museum and Atlas of Jewish History initiative.
The central idea is to approach these topics from the point of view of Jewish African leaders. In doing so, the conference seeks to provide a platform and create a meaningful network of researchers and Jewish African leaders.
Description of ASF-Mimouna Partnership:
The ASF is partnered with Association Mimouna to celebrate Judeo-Moroccan history, traditions, and culture, as well as the Moroccan culture of co-existence. Since 2014, The ASF and Association Mimouna have done a series of major events in New York City, including the Moroccan-Jewish Caravan, From Casablanca to New York: A Night of Moroccan Culture, the 20th and 21st Anniversary Editions of the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, and an event with the Muslim World League honoring the heroism of Muslims who protected Jewish communities and/or saved Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. These events have been both well-attended (indeed, the Opening Night of the 20th NYSJFF honoring Mr. André Azoulay, Counsellor to the King of Morocco, and our other events at The Center for Jewish History were all sold out) and drew the attention of leading publications, such as Tablet Magazine, CS Monitor, and the Times of Israel. Our work together preserving Jewish historical sites in Morocco, via a mutual partner, the Diarna Geo-Museum of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Life, has also been featured in The New York Times.