BA University of Toronto, 2014
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016
Dissertation Title: Sephardi Immigrants in Paris: Navigating Community, Culture, and Citizenship in Interwar and Vichy France, 1918-1945
My dissertation examines the history of Sephardi Jewish immigrants in Paris during the interwar period and the Holocaust. Hailing from the recently dismantled Ottoman Empire, this population numbered upwards of twenty thousand individuals at the outbreak of the Second World War.
I am particularly interested in connecting Jewish history and Holocaust studies by asking how the cultural and legal particularities of Sephardi immigrants impacted their experiences in both peacetime and wartime. Familiarity with the French language and culture and “extraterritorial” privileges such as foreign consular protection distinguish the Sephardi interwar and Holocaust experience from that of other immigrant Jews in France. These characteristics, I argue, presented opportunities for social and legal connections in the interwar years that opened options for rescue and survival during the Holocaust.
Thanks to funding from the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies and the UNC Graduate School, I am presently conducting dissertation research in archives abroad. I am working with personal papers, survivor testimonies, periodicals, communal records, and government files that are found in collections located around the globe in France, Germany, Israel, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, and the United States.
In addition to working on my doctoral dissertation, I co-host the podcast, “New Books in Jewish Studies,” which is part of the New Books Network.