This lively lecture will cover: A journey spanning over five centuries, from the arrival of conversos to the New World and their clash with the Inquisition, to the role Jews played during the 19th century as fosterers of modernity, up until the present time where in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Mexico their place in the economy, politics, and culture is essential if also contested by the status quo. Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, the State of Israel, assimilation, and questions of identity will be lenses through which to appreciate this varied journey.
Ilan Stavans, one of today’s preeminent essayists, cultural critics, and translators, is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture and Five College-Fortieth Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. A native of Mexico, he received his Doctorate in Latin American Literature from Columbia University.
Funding for Whidbey Island Jewish Community was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Special Initiatives Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.