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An event every week that begins at 10:30 am on Friday, repeating until 3 December, 2021
Jews have shaped the history of South Africa in bold and ambitious ways. The country, in turn, has deeply challenged their ideas about what it means to be Jewish, and how their Jewishness might impact their engagement with the wider world.
In this 6-part course, we will dive into the rich history of Jewish life in South Africa, using original primary source materials and documents. In addition to the community’s better-known features, including its responses to apartheid, we will explore some less well-understood experiences and dilemmas, from the earliest history of settlement to the present-day.
How has Jewishness been integrated into, or kept apart from, South African life? How have Jews related to their non-Jewish neighbours across the colour spectrum? What has been their relationship with Israel? And how does their history compare with that of Jews in other societies?
Shirli Gilbert is Professor of Modern Jewish History at University College London. She has previously held positions at the University of Southampton, the University of Michigan, and the University of Cape Town. Her publications include Music in the Holocaust (2005), From Things Lost: Forgotten Letters and the Legacy of the Holocaust (2017), and, with Avril Alba, Holocaust Memory and Racism in the Postwar World (2019). She is Academic Director of the Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre.