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The Persian Experience
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Jews have been living in the region of today's Iran for millennia from before the dawn of Islam. Dr. Daniel Tsadik takes on a journey through historical Persia through today's Iranian Jews - their history, culture, customs and inter-religious interactions. Learn at your own pace. All 10 minute lessons are pre-recorded and available at your leisure.
Enrollment is Closed

About This Course

Dr. Daniel Tsadik, completed his PhD at Yale University with a focus on the Jews of Iran. He is the author of Between Foreigners and Shi’is among other books, articles, and courses.

Jews lived in the Middle East, and particularly Iran, even before the advent of Islam. Iran has a long history with varying dynasties, dynastic changes, and evolving borders and Jews have been there continuously throughout these changes. Throughout the ascent of Islam in its different forms, Jews were integrated at times more and at times less economically. There were times of intellectual and spiritual growth as well as suppression and persecution. All this will be addressed and discussed in a historical context.

This course is made possible with the support of The Shazar Center, Israel.

Thank you to Moreen Nehedar for the opening music in the conclusion and promotional videos.

The course is divided into seven units:

1. The Ancient Period – the settlement of the Jews in Iran, Acaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanian times 2. 7th to 9th Centuries – The emergence of Islam, Islam and the Jews, Dhimma, and Jewish religious streams 3. 13th to 18th centuries – Mongols, Jewish Persian poets, Safavid times 4. Mid-18th century to 19th century – Invasion, dynasties, and persecutions 5. The latter part of the 19th century – Interactions with World Jewry, legal status and conversions 6. Early 20th century – Modernization and education, constitution revolution, Zionism 7. The 20th century – Pahlavi dynasty, Revolution, Mashadis, and Migration

Dr. Daniel Tsadik

Dr. Daniel Tsadik

Dr. Daniel Tsadik, a former professor of Sephardic and Iranian Studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, has been awarded The Prime Minister’s Prize (Israel) in 2020 for the Encouragement and Empowerment of Jewish Communities in Arab Countries and Iran for The Jews of Iran and Rabbinic Literature: New Perspectives, published by Mosad Ha-Rav Kook.

Tsadik researches the modern history of Iran, Shi'ah Islam, and Iran's religious minorities. A Fulbright scholar, he earned his Ph.D from the History Department at Yale University.

Dr. David Yeroushalmy

Born in Tehran, David Yeroushalmy completed his primary and part of his secondary education at the Alliance Israelite school in Tehran. He immigrated to Israel in 1961 and upon completing his secondary education he enrolled in the Department of Middle Eastern History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Completing his B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and in Political Science, he served in the Israeli Army as an officer. He pursued his doctoral studies at Colombia University New York, in the Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures. He specialized in Persian and Hebrew languages and literatures. D. Yeroushalmy was appointed lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel-Aviv University, where he has been teaching Persian language and Iranian history and culture. His Book entitled The Judeo-Persian Poet Emrani and His Book of Treasure, was published by E.J. Brill Publishers, Leiden, in 1995. Dr. Yeroushalmy's current research focuses on the communal and cultural history of Iranian Jewry in the course of the nineteen-century.

Ms. Lerone Edalati

Lerone Edalati is a member of the Mashadi community of New York. In addition to her role as Associate Director of Donor Relations at ISEF, she researches and records the history and current practices of the Mashadi Jews. She holds a BA from NYU in Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is a Broome & Allen Fellow at the American Sephardi Federation and is currently gathering oral histories of Iranian Jews in NY.

Dr. Hilda Nissimi

Dr. Hilda Nissimi is the chair of the Generatl History Department at Bar Ilan University. Her most current research focuses on the formation adn change of identity layers in crypto-religious communities, with a particular focus on Mashadi Jews. Her book, The Crypto-Jewish Mashadis, was published in 1985 and remains the main text on the study of that population. She has written numerous articles on identity and forced conversions.

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Enrollment is Closed