A Sephardic Journey through the Twentieth Century
Presented by Sarah Abrevaya Stein
For centuries, the bustling port city of Salonica was home to the sprawling Levy family. As leading publishers and editors, they helped chronicle modernity as it was experienced by Sephardic Jews across the Ottoman Empire. The wars of the twentieth century, however, redrew the borders around them, in the process transforming the Levys from Ottomans to Greeks. Family members soon moved across boundaries and hemispheres, stretching the familial diaspora from Greece to Western Europe, Israel, Brazil, and India. In time, the Holocaust nearly eviscerated the clan, eradicating whole branches of the family tree. In this presentation, prizewinning Sephardic historian Sarah Abrevaya Stein uses the family’s correspondence to tell the story of their journey across the arc of a century and the breadth of the globe.
Sarah Abrevaya Stein is Sady and Ludwig Kahn Director of the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, and Viterbi Family Chair in Mediterranean Jewish Studies at UCLA. She is the author and editor of ten award-winning books, including, most recently, Wartime North Africa: a Documentary History, 1934-1950 (Stanford University Press, 2022) and Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century (FSG/Macmillan, 2019).
Program made possible, in part, by Anne Germanacos.