Message from our Executive Director
SVUK’s mission is to document stories of childhood, displacement, migration, exile, and resettlement and to bring to life the vibrant Jewish communities left behind, the journeys of migration and the rich culture and tradition of Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews.
The work of SVUK enables families and communities to connect with their past and celebrate their heritage, and for researchers and the general public to have a unique window into the lives of Jewish communities which no longer exist from countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and Algeria.
In the last two decades there has been a huge increase in the number of testimony/oral history projects which have put individuals’ experiences into the wider public realm and have thus re-defined our understanding of major historical events in the twentieth century.
None of these projects have dealt with the experiences of the displaced Jews from North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran, who left their homes and settled in the UK. It is of the highest priority to preserve the memories of the elder generation of Sephardi /
Mizrahi Jews in order to add their voices to the historiography of British Jews and to the historiography of immigration to Britain. By recording the stories of the Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews, the memories of individuals who grew up in communities which often no longer exist, will be passed on to the next generations and create a sense of pride and continuity.
Sephardi Voices will thus cater to the urgent need for more understanding and knowledge of the experiences of Jews from North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran in the twentieth century while simultaneously adding value to a sense of history within Jewish communities and within individual families.
Please support our urgent work and help Sephardi Voices UK to preserve the precious Sephardi and Mizrahi heritage and transform Jewish memory and historiography. Thank you!
– Dr Bea Lewkowicz, Executive Director
Message from our Chairman
I have personally lived in four countries since leaving Egypt after the Suez crisis, and regrettably only became interested in that heritage when it was too late to interrogate my parents.
Sephardi Voices UK has already completed dozens of video interviews, which are deposited in the British Library for open access, subject to any restriction imposed by the interviewee. With memories fading and the elders leaving us, it is essential that these personal recollections of religious traditions, lifestyle, relationships, exile, resettlement and identity are preserved for research, education and future generations.
Thank you for visiting us, feel free to explore part of our archive, and please help us achieve our goal!
– Alec Nacamuli, May 2017