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Leaving Zion: Jewish Emigration from Palestine and Israel after World War II




 About the Book & Talk

The story of Israel's foundation has often been told from the perspective of Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel. In this lecture, Ori Yehudai turns this historical narrative on its head, focusing on Jewish out-migration from Palestine and Israel between 1945 and the late 1950s. Based on previously unexamined primary sources collected from twenty-two archives in six countries, he will talk about how, despite the dominant view that displaced Jews should settle in the Jewish homeland, many Jews instead saw the country as a site of displacement or a way station to more desirable lands. Covering events in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, Yehudai provides a fresh transnational perspective on the critical period surrounding the birth of Israel and the post-Holocaust reconstruction of the Jewish world. This event is co-sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, and the UCLA Department of History.


 About the Speakers

Dr. Ori Yehudai is the Saul and Sonia Schottenstein Chair in Israel Studies and Assistant Professor of History at The Ohio State University, where he teaches courses on the history of Modern Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict and modern Jewish history. He previously held positions at the University of Toronto, McGill University, NYU and the Center for Jewish History in New York. Ori’s research focuses on modern Jewish and Israeli history, with a special emphasis on migration and displacement, relations between Jews and non-Jews after the Holocaust, and aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is the author of Leaving Zion: Jewish Emigration from Palestine and Israel after World War II (Cambridge, 2020), which was a finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards.


Avery Weinman (moderator) is a Ph.D. student in the UCLA Department of History and the UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies Harry C. Sigman Graduate Fellow. Generally, she studies modern Jewish history in the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, she researches youth radicals in Zionist paramilitary organizations in British Mandatory Palestine. She also works as a host for the New Books Network series in Israel Studies, Jewish Studies, and Middle East Studies.





DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.