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Sisterhood together with the BJC of N.Y.: The Jews of Iraq & My Family with Guest Speaker: Hagit Halperin

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 3 Nisan 5781


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Hagit Halperin grew up on a kibbutz in Israel, where a group of young Iraqi Jews were among its founding members. Hagit studied at the Midrashah Le’Amanut, a college for art education in Israel. In New York, Hagit completed a master’s degree in Jewish Art and Visual Culture at The Jewish Theological Seminary, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Restoration at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Hagit taught art and Hebrew for many years in schools in Israel and New York. She was the education director at East End Temple, and for many years taught Hebrew at the Rodeph Sholom School in Manhattan. Currently, Hagit teaches Hebrew at Fordham University, at the Dwight International High School and at JTS’ Ivry Prozdor program. Hagit has been leading tours in Hebrew at museums around New York for Ha-Ulpan students - since 2006.

The Jewish diaspora is considered to be the oldest in the World and it goes back to 586 BCE when the first temple was destroyed. The Iraqi jews hold special pride in their heritage.  Their long lived residence there was interrupted when a nazi-inspired pogrom erupted in Iraq.  When Israel defied the Arab Countries and became a state it became intolerable to stay in Iraq.

In her Presentation, she will cover the Historical background of the Jews in Iraq, and intertwine it with her families’ stories.  Hagit’s father’s family is from Bagdad, and her mother’s is from Basra.  Both Families have a rich and colorful past.  Her father was actively involved in the Zionist movement there, and after a few years in Israel, he was sent as an emissary to Iraq.  He was the last emissary to leave Iraq.




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