Roz and Ralph Halbert Fund in Jewish Studies
Aviva Ben-Ur (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Date: Monday, September 13 at 4 PM
Description: In the 18th century, the Dutch colony of Suriname in South America was home to arguably the most privileged Jewish community of its time. On the banks of its main river, Jews of Iberian ancestry founded their own village, surrounded by Jewish-owned plantations that were worked by African slaves. Among these Jews were slaveowners who converted some of their children to Judaism. This talk, based on the author's recently published book Jewish Autonomy in a Slave Society, centers the concept of “slave society” as a way to understand the local Portuguese Jewish community and how its economy, politics, and identity were intertwined with African slaves and their freeborn descendants.
Aviva Ben-Ur is Professor in the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, U.S.A. A historian specializing in Atlantic Jewish history, she is the author of Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries and Synagogues of Suriname:
Essays (Hebrew Union College Press, 2012) and Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries of Suriname: Epitaphs (Hebrew Union College Press, 2009), both co-authored with Rachel
Frankel; Sephardic Jews in America: A Diasporic History (New York University Press, 2009),
and Jewish Autonomy in a Slave Society: Suriname in the Atlantic World, 1651-1825 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020).
**This event will be conducted via Zoom. To attend the lecture, please visit *this* link on Monday, September 13th at 4pm.