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Beit Hatfutsot’s exhibition on the history of Iranian Jews to open at The Fowler Museum at UCLA

 

The Story of Iranian Jews’ will be on display from October 21, 2012 – March 10, 2013

“We are thrilled that the Fowler Museum chose to bring Light and Shadows to Los Angeles and to share the story of Persian Jewry with a new audience,” said Irina Nevzlin Kogan, newly elected Chair of Beit Hatfutsot, who will speak at the exhibition’s opening reception


Los Angeles, ‘Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews’, an unprecedented exhibition devoted to the history, culture and contemporary life of Iranian Jewry, will be on display at The Fowler Museum at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) beginning October 21 and running through March 10, 2013. The opening reception will take place on October 20, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

The exhibition originated at Beit Hatfutsot - The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv and is the first to present an in-depth portrait of Iranian Jewry. The comprehensive exhibition introduces visitors to the fascinating world of an ancient community and its cultural, social, economic and political life. The community’s story unfolds over more than 2,700 years, beginning with the first Jews exiled from Jerusalem by the Babylonians and continuing to today, with most members of the community scattered throughout the world.

According to Professor David Yeroushalmi, a member of the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University and the exhibition's historical advisor, some 20,000 Jews still live in Iran today. They are concentrated in Tehran and the two ancient communities of Isfahan and Shiraz, and maintain a strong connection with Judaism and their distinct cultural legacy.

The exhibition includes archeological artifacts, many on public display in the United States for the first time, that reveal details of ancient life in the Iranian Jewish community. Visitors will encounter a wide range of artifacts and media, including ancient manuscripts, talismans, carpets and both secular and religious music. Contemporary artworks by Iranian Jewish artists now residing in Israel, Europe and the United States reflect the community today. Orit Engelberg-Baram and Hagai Segev curated the exhibition.

“We are thrilled that the Fowler Museum chose to bring Light and Shadows to Los Angeles and to share the story of Persian Jewry with a new audience.” said Irina Nevzlin Kogan, newly elected Chair of Beit Hatfutsot - The Museum of the Jewish People. “This exhibition is part of Beit Hatfutsot’s effort to present the stories of different Jewish communities around the world in a way that highlights not only the past, but also the present. We hope such efforts will help all people understand the concept of peoplehood. And we hope that younger Jews who visit exhibitions of this kind will feel part of an extraordinary people that continues to thrive all around the world.”
The original exhibition was sponsored by the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation with additional generous support from the David Berg Foundation, the Diamond Charity Foundation, the Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York, the Global Mashadi Jewish Federation, the Maccabi Foundation and individual philanthropists from Iranian Jewish community as well as other Jewish communities.
‘Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews’ will be on display from October 21, 2012 – March 10, 2013 at The Fowler Museum, UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Los Angeles, CA.

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