How do immigrant populations navigate between ancestral ties and connections to their new homes? How do their plural histories create layered identities, and how...

How do immigrant populations navigate between ancestral ties and connections to their new homes? How do their plural histories create layered identities, and how do those identities change over time? Adriana M. Brodsky, Professor of History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, explores answers to these questions through an examination of Sephardi immigrants in late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century Argentina. Her book, Sephardi, Jewish, Argentine: Community and National Identity, 1880-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2016), paints a complex picture of the myriad forces that worked to construct Sephardi Argentine identity from without and within. Brodsky problematizes the groups identity (or identities) from a variety of lenses to show how Sephardi immigrants in Argentina have a history that is both fractured and united. She analyzes the structural layout of Jewish cemeteries, communal associations, Zionism, women’s movements, and educational and marriage patterns, ultimately revealing that the Sephardi community while was often divided based on regions of origin, it also actively and strategically came together in times of political need. Her fascinating study speaks to the importance of studying the diversity of Jewish immigrant populations in Argentina and beyond.

Adriana M. Brodsky is Professor of History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


Robin Buller is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

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