Very interesting article. The photo below was taken in my lifetime; it’s amazing and sad how much things have changed. By the way, the David Yerushalmi in this piece is not the one we’re so familiar with from the political scene.
If you’re going to be in LA between now and March 10, 2013, you might want to stop by the (UCLA) Fowler Museum’s exhibition, Light and Shadows: The story of Iranian Jews.
Additionally, if you’re interested in this subject, the Encyclopædia Iranica has quite a bit of info on the history of diplomatic/political relations between Israel & Iran, the Jewish Persian community, and Iranian studies & Persian art collections in Israel. FWIW, it seems that when the Encyclopaedia Iranica was being introduced to the public back in 2007, there was a bit of a dust-up over a press release published by the AP: Official Response of the Encyclopaedia Iranica to the Associated Press Article of March 25, 2007 Entitled ‘U.S.-Funded Encyclopedia Revels In Iran’s Greatness’ (PDF)
Enough. Now on to the good stuff.
Courtesy of David Nissan (on display at Fowler Museum, UCLA)
David and Leora Nissan in Purim Costumes, Tehran, Iran, 1964
Though Jews and Iran have had their differences, it might be surprising to learn that the history of Jews in Iran is as old and rich as Hugh Hefner.
That 2,700-year history was recognized and honored this weekend at a conference held at UCLA’s Fowler Museum in conjunction with its “Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews” exhibition.
David Yerushalmi, professor of Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University, articulated, in a jet-lagged stupor no less (he had arrived just a couple of days ago from Israel), an introduction to Iranian Jewish culture, dating back to the 16th century, and moving forward to the Pahlavi dynasty, from 1925 until 1979, when these exiled city dwellers went from being “an oppressed and marginalized community, to an enterprising, active and powerful section of broader Iranian society.”
From the original 80,000 Jews living in Iran, about 25,000 have remained. The others are in Los Angeles, New York and Israel. […]
More: More at LA Weekly…