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The Historical Society of Israel

International Association





Session in CISH Congress, August 23-29, 2015, Jinan, China

The INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HISTORCAL SOCIETIES FOR THE STUDY OF JEWISH HISTORY (IAHSSJH), is holding a one day session on the occasion of the CISH (Comité International des Sciences Historiques) International congress, which will take place in Jinan, China, August 23-29, 2015.


The session will be chaired by Prof. Yosef Kaplan of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The classic use of the term “Diaspora” refers mainly to the Jewish experience, what the sociologist Robin Cohen called “the prototypical diaspora,” referring to the dispersal "following a traumatic event in the homeland to two or more foreign destinations." But as the political scientist William Safran showed in his seminal study "Diasporas in modern societies: myths of homeland and return" (Diaspora 1 (1), 1991, pp. 83-99), from the 1980s on the term diaspora was extended and used as a "metaphoric designation" to describe different categories of people, "expatriates, expellees, political refugees, alien residents, immigrants and ethnic and racial minorities tout court.” Extension of the use of this concept to various types of people in dispersal also left its mark on the study of Jewish history, where treatment has extended to “Jewish diasporas” in the plural.

This session will discuss a variety of Jewish diasporas from late antiquity until the present. It will examine the background and reasons for their creation throughout history , their social and cultural characteristics, the political and economic conditions that made their existence possible, their leadership and organization, their connection with a real or imagined homeland, their relation to the Jewish world , their relationship with the host societies, their collective memories, common history and symbols, their ethnic group consciousness and sense of distinctiveness, their belief in a common fate, their ways to promote and transmit a common cultural and religious heritage, and the processes of acculturation and assimilation that affected them.

Please note that the IAHSSJH cannot, unfortunately, fund the cost of flight tickets, hotel accommodation or registration fee of the Congress. These costs must be raised from the scholar's own sources. Please see initial Information on registration and accommodation here. The official Congress site, will be open in March or April 2014: participants will be able then to register, to pay their fees, to book their hotel rooms, train tickets, touristic excursions.