Balkan/Greek Dinner and Presentation

Friday, March 17, 2017 • 19 Adar 5777

6:00 PM - 9:00 PMSAJ

The Sephardic Balkan Communities and the Holocaust -- Balkan/Greek Dinner and a presentation by Dr. Joseph Benatov.

In 1943, Bulgaria complied with German demands and deported nearly 11,400 Jews from occupied territories in northern Greece and Yugoslavia (Macedonia). At the same time, Bulgaria successfully resisted German pressures to deport the 50,000 Jews living in Bulgaria. Dr. Benatov will offer a historical overview of the facts surrounding these historical events and will focus on the conflicting opinions about the role played by King Boris III, church officials, and politicians in the rescue of Bulgaria’s Jewish population. Dr. Benatov will also discuss the international debate over the way in which these historical events should be interpreted, remembered, and commemorated.

Joseph Benatov holds a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Hebrew. He has written on competing national narratives of the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II; Jewish identity politics in Philip Roth’s early fiction; and the sensationalism of U.S. representations of life behind the Iron Curtain. He has also translated fiction, poetry, and drama, including several plays staged to wide acclaim in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is also the English translator of the contemporary Bulgarian novel Zift. Every summer Dr. Benatov leads a Sephardic trip to Bulgaria, Macedonia and Northern Greece.

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