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Speaker shares story of Jewish life under Muslim rule

FOLSOM — For the first time in Folsom, the Sierra Jewish Academy is hosting a lecture by Dr. Daniel Khazzoom, who will recount his personal story of life as a Jew under Muslim law and the plight of over one million Jewish refugees of Arab countries. The lecture titled No Way Back, the Journey of a Jew from Baghdad will include the showing of an important documentary, The Forgotten Refugees.

“This is a very crucial story. The Jewish community in Baghdad was over 2,400 years old and today it no longer exists,” said Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum of the Sierra Jewish Academy. “And the biggest tragedy is that no one even knows about it. With this lecture, we hope to begin reversing this unfortunate lack of knowledge.”

The Sunday morning brunch will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 28, at the Chabad Jewish Community Center, 302 S. Lexington Drive in Folsom. Tickets are available in advance for $15 at nowayback.eventbrite.com and at the door for $20.

The Forgotten Refugees
In the early 20th century, under the heavy weight of anti-Jewish governments and policy, nearly one million Jews from the Middle East and North Africa had their property confiscated, basic human rights stripped, and were systematically persecuted and victimized. Ultimately these Jews were forced to flee their homes and surrender their nationalities, becoming the “Forgotten Refugees” of the Middle East and North Africa. UN Resolution 242 asserted that Jews fleeing Arab countries were ‘bona fide’ refugees, yet the international community, the media and North American educational systems have continuously ignored their plight and their losses.

Revisionist history of the Middle East conveniently excludes the fact that over half of Israel’s Jewish population live there not because of European atrocities during World War II, but because of anti-Jewish Arab governments who dispossessed and displaced their native Jewish populations following the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Adopted narratives of the Arab-Israeli conflict fail to address the fact that Israel was the largest refugee camp in the Middle East, providing safe haven to some 650,000 dispossessed Middle Eastern and North African Jewish refugees whose ancestors had a continuous presence in the region for more than 3,000 years.

About J. Daniel Khazzoom
Daniel Khazzoom was born in Baghdad, the youngest son of a prominent lawyer in that city. He was 8 years old when the Nazis came to Baghdad. He and his family survived the Farhood, the big massacre of the Jews of Baghdad.

In 1951 he left by himself for Israel, where he served in the Israeli Air Force and subsequently graduated from Tel Aviv University with a B.S. in economics. In 1958 he was the first college graduate from Israel to be admitted to Harvard. In 1963 he graduated from Harvard with a PhD in economics.

He served on the faculty at Cornell, NYU, McGill, Stanford, UC Berkeley and San Jose State. He published four books and numerous articles in energy modeling, econometrics and economics, and served as advisor to the U.S. and Canadian federal governments.

In 1998 he was unanimously elected as the Gilbert White Fellow by the Resources for the Future. He spent the last several years writing his memoir,”The Journey of a Jew from Baghdad.”

Khazzoom lives in Sacramento. His book will be available for purchase and to be signed by the author.

About the Sierra Jewish Academy

The Sierra Jewish Academy is the place to turn in the Folsom/El Dorado Hills region for quality adult Jewish learning. The SJA provides innovative, inclusive Jewish educational programs for people from all walks of life, all backgrounds, all lifestyles and all ages. The SJA is a division of the Chabad Jewish Community Center.

Special to Village Life


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