Fifth International Spring School in Jewish Studies – Home, Belonging and Exile: Sepharad and Beyond
(Madrid and Toledo, May 27 – June 3 2022)
The Hebrew Bible begins with the creation of the whole world, but quite quickly zooms into the history of one family and consequently one people. Abraham, the first Patriarch and the founder of the family and of the nation, is born in Haran, but is commanded to move on to what will shortly become the Promised Land, the Land of Israel, later Palestine. But the family does not stop there: it moves to Egypt, then (quite miraculously) back to its original land from years gone by, and then exiled again to Persia and Babylon, then they return again, and afterwards exiled again by the Romans (having a Jewish Hellenistic branch in Egypt as well), and spreading almost all around the world, East and West. During hundreds of years Jews found equilibrium between moving and staying while longing (in principle or in practice) to another place, their promised land. Jews became what the great historian Simon Dubnow, who was murdered by the Nazis in Riga at the age of 81, called ʿamʿolam a nation in/of the world. During their long lasting history, Jews both belonged to their homes at the places where they lived, sometimes for hundreds of years, but almost always expelled or otherwise forced to leave at some point, yet kept some kind of cultural and social unity. They created a flourishing religious and secular culture, and the Bible (and also their other books) was for them a portatives Vaterland (‘portable homeland’), as the poet Heinrich Heine punned.
In the Madrid 2022 International Spring School in Jewish Studies, scholars and students from various places of Jewish belonging will explore the diverse historical questions of exile, belonging and home. We aim at learning about new realms of the Jewish existence and their mutual relationship.
The “Fifth International Spring School in Jewish Studies – Home, Belonging and Exile: Sepharad and Beyond,” will take place in Madrid, with field trips to Toledo and El Escorial, and 30 hours of instruction by scholars in Jewish Studies from the Netherlands, Israel, Spain, United Kingdom, and France. The School is jointly organized by the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam, The Open University of Israel, King’s College London, Jewish Cultures Across Mediterranean Europe (J-Med project) CSIC-UCM, and the Sephardic Museum, Toledo.
Conveners: Pablo Torijano, Bart Wallet, Avriel Bar-Levav, Andrea Schatz, Irene Zwiep, and Javier Castaño.
More information and programme at https://jmed.eu/fifth-international-spring-school-in-jewish-studies/