In recent years, there has been growing interest in documenting Jewish life outside of the large coastal urban centers in the United States. In 2021 the University of Illinois, with the support of Mrs. Sybil Mervis of Danville, opened a new archive dedicated to the documentation of Jewish life in smaller towns of Central Illinois. In this lecture and open discussion, we will explore the documents, life stories, interviews, and findings collected so far and plans for the near future.
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DR. LIAT ALON earned her Phd in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from Ben Gurion University. After moving from Israel to the US in 2018, Liat Alon was a Lecturer at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati and is now an Israel Institute Fellow in the History Department and Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In Israel she focused on the disappearing communities of Egyptian Jews. She teaches many courses at U of I, and guiding students who are working on the Central Illinois Jewish Communities Archives/Mervis Archives at the University of Illinois
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