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Roots in Spain, Trees in Sarajevo

Laura Frank, Beth T'filoh Dahan Community Day School

This lesson aims to enlighten students about Sephardic history in the Balkans, and was originally taught in the context of a Jewish day school in the United States.  The Jews expelled from Spain who settled in the Balkans were welcomed, and Jews were generally accepted as part of society, as they were in all parts of the Ottoman Empire. Focusing on Sarajevo as an example of Jewish life in the Balkans, this lesson uses music, a lecture with PowerPoint, photographs and two short films to explore how in times of crisis the positive relationships between Sephardic Jews and their neighbors stood them in good stead. 

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