Jamaica: Caribbean Diaspora Conference, Jan. 12-14, 2010

The Jewish Diaspora of the Caribbean International Conference, exploring the history, culture, and identity of Caribbean Jewry, is set for January 12-14, 2010, in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies.

The chairs are well-known researcher of Sephardic history and author Jane S. Gerber (Professor of Jewish History, The Graduate Center, CUNY) and Ainsley Henriques (director, The United Congregation of Israelites).

Tracing the Tribe’s readers may have met Ainsley at past international Jewish genealogy conferences.

The venue is Kingston’s Pegasus Hotel and the line up of speakers is excellent. Tracing the Tribe wishes it could be there!

Here’s what you can expect:

Tuesday, January 12
I. Sephardic Trade Networks in the Colonial Caribbean

Chair: Jane Gerber
Miriam Bodian, University of Texas
Gérard Nahon, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
Jonathan I. Israel, Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton
Holly Snyder, Brown University

II. Material and Visual Culture of Caribbean Jewry

Chair: Judah Cohen
Rachel Frankel, Architect
Sharman Kadish, Director, Jewish Heritage, UK; University of Manchester
Jackie Ranston, Independent Scholar, Jamaica

Wednesday, January 13
III. Caribbean Jewish Identity and Heritage: From Conversos to Modern Jews

Chair: Miriam Bodian
Mordechai Arbell, The Ben Zvi Institute, Jerusalem
Ronnie Perelis, Yeshiva University
Hilit Surowitz, University of Florida
Judah Cohen, Indiana University

IV. Blacks and Jews in the English Caribbean

Chair: Eli Faber
James Robertson, University of the West Indies, Mona
Stan Mirvis, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Swithin Wilmot, University of the West Indies,Mona

Thursday, January 14
V. Reassessing the Geographic and Ethnic Definitions of Caribbean Jewry

Chair: Jane S. Gerber
Eli Faber, John Jay College, CUNY
Matt Goldish, Ohio State University
Dale Rosengarten and Barry Steifel, The College of Charleston
Joanna Newman, The University of Southampton; The British Library

VI. The Art of Sephardic Genealogy Workshop

John deMercado, Independent Scholar
Ainsley Henriques, The United Congregation of Israelites, Kingston
David Kleiman, President, Heritage Muse, Inc.

There will also be a guided Jamaican Heritage Tour of the Duke Street Synagogue and Hunt’s Bay Cemetery, with author (Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean) and local historian Ed Kritzler.

For more information and advance registration, click here. Interested readers may also contact the conference coordinator Stan Mirvis or Ainsley Henriques.

The United Congregation of Israelites website holds a wealth of information on Caribbean Jewry, including history, films, photographs, newsroom, archive, books and much more. Tracing the Tribe has previously written about Jamaica and the Caribbean in some 30 posts. Go to the SEARCH box in the right sidebar and type in “Caribbean.”

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