The Jewish Diaspora

From Nov ’05 Spotlight: “…the history of civilization is in large part the story of populations wandering and settling, then wandering again–sometimes voluntarily, often in exile…”

The theme of this year’s Chicago Humanities Festival’s program, Home and Away, is a particularly potent one for Jewish audiences. The schedule includes many well-known speakers, including Christopher Horak (German-Jewish Filmmakers in Hollywood Exile), Vikram Seth (Two Lives), Howard Reich (Prisoner of her Past), and Raul Hilberg (Auschwitz as an Evolving Camp).

One “must-see” is Frédéric Brenner (The Jewish Diaspora). Brenner is a French photographer who has spent the past 25 years traveling around the world to chronicle contemporary Jewish life. He has roamed far beyond America, Israel and Western Europe, finding Jews in Argentina and Ethiopia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, following his contacts until he had visited 40 countries on five different continents.

Appearing with Brenner will be Sidra Dekoven Ezrahi, author of Booking Passage: Exile and Homecoming in the Modern Jewish Imagination. Based at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Ezrahi is currently a visiting professor at Duke. She also wrote some of the commentary for Brenner’s most recent book, Diaspora: Homelands in Exile.

Brenner and Ezrahi will be speaking on Sunday, Nov. 13, from 11:30-1:30 at the Merle Reskin Theater at 60 E. Balbo (part of DePaul University’s downtown campus).

The Chicago Humanities Festival runs from Oct. 29-Nov. 13, and complete schedule information is available at:

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