Coming up this month on Diwaniyya: Jewish Communities in the Arab World


Esther Webman
Samir Ben-Layashi
Ofra Bengio


Coming up on Diwaniyya this month, three Moshe Dayan Center researchers discuss their personal experiences and memories of Jewish communities in the Arab world: Ofra Bengio tells us about her childhood in Syria, Esther Webman talks about Egypt's Jewish community and Samir Ben-Layashi tells us about growing up amongst Jews in Morocco.   

Ofra Bengio is a Senior Research Fellow at the Dayan Center, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. Her fields of specialization include contemporary Middle Eastern history, modern and contemporary politics of Iraq, and the Arabic language.

Esther Webman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Dayan Center and at the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University. She is the head of the Zeev Vered Desk for the Study of Tolerance and Intolerance, and the acting director (since August 2007) of the Roth Institute. Her areas of specialization include Arab discourse analysis, Modern Islamic movements, Muslim-Jewish Relations (including Arab anti-Semitism and Arab perceptions of the Holocaust), and Muslims in the West. 

Samir Ben-Layashi, a doctoral fellow and researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center, has written on medical practices in Morocco and the integration of the Moroccan-Jewish community into Israeli life. He is the author, along with Bruce Maddy-Weitzman of “Myth, History andRealpolitik: Morocco and Its Jewish Community,” which appeared the Journal of Jewish Studies.

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