Esther's Children - Between Iran and Zion

Jewish lives in North Africa and the Middle East, dating back centuries, even millennia, often end up in simplified and generalizing narratives that reduce an otherwise long and complex story to narrow reports of isolation, discrimination and displacement or romantic stories of multicultural utopia.

As part of the event "Jews in the Middle East", NASIM and The Turban Times have invited Professor of History, Lior B. Sternfeld (University of Pennsylvania), to Copenhagen to hold presentations and talk about their research in the Iranian Jews today is the second largest Jewish community in the Middle East after Israel.

Starting with the eventful 20th century, Sternfeld challenges in his new book "Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth Century Iran" the dominant narratives of Jewish history in the MENA region and critically criticizes previous research in Iranian-Jewish history .

Sternfeld will talk about relations between Iranian Jews and especially relations with the rest of Iranian society, the life of the Pahlavi monarchy (1925-1979), Iranian Jews (active) role in the 1979 revolution, how far Jews emigrated from Iran , as well as what makes a relatively large Jewish minority still choose to stay in the country today.

Subsequently, we have invited an Iranian Jew resident in Denmark to come and give his personal story. Finally, the two speakers in a joint conversation will pull threads from the Iranian Jews to some of the major powers and regional conflicts that characterize the Middle East today.


  • 17:30 - 18:30  Welcome and lecture at Lior B. Sternfeld
  • 18:30 - 19:00  Break (with food and drink)
  • 19:00 - 19:45  Sternfeld in conversation with Danish-Iranian Jew
  • 19:45 - 20:30  Q & A and rounding

During the break, NASIM and The Turban Times provide drinks and some delicious Iranian food.

The doors will open at 17:00, the event begins at 17:30

There is free access, registration is not required.

Sternfeld's new book can already be purchased in the bookstore Academic Books, building 14 (KUA2), Karen Blixens Plads 8 or online in the webshop.

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