"Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece” with Devin Naar

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 5:00pm

How did the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of modern Greece impact the largest Sephardic Jewish community in the world? In Jewish Salonica, Devin Naar draws on newly discovered archival materials in Ladino, Greek, Hebrew, and French to demonstrate how the Jews of Salonica (Thessaloniki), once touted as the "Jerusalem of the Balkans," sought to transform themselves from Ottoman Jews into Hellenic Jews during the early twentieth century. In the process, they reinvigorated their connection to their city and claimed it as own--even on the eve of the Holocaust. Through the case of Salonica, Naar recovers the experiences of a once dynamic and now lost Jewish community at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East.

Devin E. Naar is the Isaac Alhadeff Professor in Sephardic Studies and Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he directs the new Sephardic Studies Program. Naar received his PhD in History from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Greece. His new book, published by Stanford University Press, is entitled Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece.

Location: Greenberg Room; Building 460, room 126