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Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Algeria’s Jewish Past-Present

[Interior of Ghardaïa Synagogue, Image from Sarah Abrevaya Stein]

Given other dramatic events this summer, readers might be forgiven for failing to notice a curious announcement the Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs, Mohamed Aïssa, issued on 3 July. The statement advertised that the ministry was to reopen twenty-five of the synagogues that still remain in the country. This announcement is of far more than local concern, teaching us a great deal about the complex way in which the Middle Eastern Jewish past is put to use in the ...

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Sarah Abrevaya Stein


Sarah Abrevaya Stein is Professor of History and Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies at UCLA. Her award-winning scholarship includes Saharan Jews and the Fate of French Algeria (University of Chicago Press, 2014), Sephardi Lives: a documentary history, 1700-1950 (with co-editor Julia Phillips Cohen, Stanford University Press, 2014), and Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce (Yale University Press, 2008).