Sephardi Voices UK
“The Jews from Arab Lands have become part of many different nations and cultures, here in Britain in particular. Their stories are not well known. They have their own communities…Their stories need not just to be told, but to be recorded and to be available. Sephardi Voices can help all those who are going to write or teach Jewish history to have a superb source of something which should be as widely known as possible.”
Sir Martin Gilbert / British Historian
Message from our UK Director
In the last two decades there has been a huge increase in the number of oral history projects that have put individuals’ experiences into the wider public realm and have thus redefined our understanding of major historical events in the twentieth century.
The aim of Sephardi Voices UK is to ensure that the testimonies and stories of the Jews from North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran who came to the UK in different waves of emigration, will be recorded and documented and that they will become an integral part of the history of British Jewish settlement in the UK.
The mission of Sephardi Voices UK is to preserve the memories of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews and to make them digitally accessible. We are thus enabling families and communities to connect with their history. Scholars and the general public will be able to research the lives of the Jews from countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Algeria, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Morocco. By listening to the Sephardi Voices interviews we learn about Jewish communities, many of which no longer exist, and about the complex histories of displacement, migration and settlement which members of these communities experienced.
Please support our work and help Sephardi Voices UK to preserve the precious Sephardi and Mizrahi heritage and transform Jewish memory and historiography.
Dr Bea Lewkowicz
Director, Sephardi Voices UK
Message from International Director
Sephardi Voices UK is part of the international project Sephardi Voices, active in the USA and Israel, and is moving forward with France and Canada.
With memories fading and the elderly passing each day, Sephardi Voices offers the last chance to save and document this irretrievable period of Jewish history and to preserve the Sephardi-Mizrahi legacy, a legacy that stretches back to the prophet, Jeremiah, the writings of the Talmud, and Maimonides. The establishment of an international Sephardi-Mizrahi audio-visual history archive has the potential, like the USC Shoah Foundation’s collection, to address a myriad of topics such as the historiography of the Middle East, religious traditions, human rights and transnational identity, and expand the terrain for scholars conducting research and policy makers.
In essence, Sephardi Voices is the last charge to rekindle the disappearance of landmarks, ritual, food, music, dance, folklore, and language; to regenerate shared historical consciousness; and to reassemble the fragments of space and place as a vehicle to restore meaning and identity.
Please help us to achieve our aim!
Professor Henry Green
International Director, Sephardi Voices