Alliance program offers a look at ‘Sephardi Voices’


“Sephardi Voices: The Forgotten Exodus of the Arab Jews,”by Henry Green and Richard Stursberg, is a window into the experiences of Middle Eastern and North African Jewish communities and their stories of survival. Join the book’s authors on Wednesday, Oct. 12, as they provide gripping first-hand accounts and stunning portrait and documentary photography to relate how, in the years following the founding of the State of Israel, close to one million Jews became refugees fleeing their ancestral homelands in the Middle East, North Africa and Iran. State-sanctioned discrimination, violence and political unrest brought an abrupt end to these once-vibrant communities, scattering their members to the four corners of the earth. Their stories are mostly untold until now. They also provide updates on the lives of some of these Sephardi Jews who have gone on to rebuild fortunes in London and New York, write novels and win Nobel Prizes. You may hear some of their voices at

Henry Green is professor of religious studies and the former director of Judaic and Sephardic studies at the University of Miami, Florida. He is the founding director of MOSAIC: the Jewish Museum of Florida and of Sephardi Voices, an audio-visual digital archive of Arab Jews. Richard Stursberg is the author of “The Tower of Babble”(2012), named by the Globe and Mail(Canada’s national newspaper) as one of the best books of the year, and “The Tangled Garden”(2019), which was shortlisted for Canada’s Donner Prize for the best book on public policy. Stursberg is the president of PEN Canada and chairman of Sephardi Voices International.

This program is co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Israel to New England. The new Deputy Consul General, Irit Yakhnes, will introduce the presenters. This is a Behind the Book presentation made possible with a partnership of the Jewish Book Council.

This is the second program of the Jewish Alliance’s Israeli Culture Series that takes place on the second Wednesday of each month. This program will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. There is no charge. It will be hosted by Elihay Skital, Rhode Island’s new shaliach(emissary). For more information, please contact Skital at 401-421-4111, ext. 121, To register for the program, please visit

LARRY KATZ ( is the director of Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.