Upcoming Event: History and Identity: The Iraqi-Jewish Experience

As many know, I’ve recently been curating a series of five lectures and screenings for the exhibition Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage running from September 4, 2015 to November 15, 2015 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in concert with the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

The next event has just been announced and details for it appear below:

History and Identity: The Iraqi-Jewish Experience

Please join the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum for a free public program, History and Identity: The Iraqi-Jewish Experience on October 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with Maurice Shohet, President, World Organization of Jews from Iraq.

The program includes a screening of the documentary Forgotten Refugees, which describes the mass exodus of up to one million Jews from Arab countries. Executive Producer, Ralph Avi Goldwasser will join us remotely from New York.

October 7, 2015
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

About the Documentary Film Forgotten Refugees

Forgotten Refugees explores the history and destruction of Middle Eastern Jewish communities, some of which had existed for over 2,500 years.  In 1945, up to one million Jews lived in the Middle East outside of the Palestine Mandate and in North Africa. Within a few years, only a few thousand remained.

This is the story of the thousands who fled their homes, who endured in refugee camps, and who today quietly carry the memory of a destroyed civilization.

Featuring testimony from Jews who fled Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Yemen, these personal stories of refugees are interspersed with dramatic archival footage, including rescue missions of Yemenite and Iraqi Jews.

The Forgotten Refugees won the Award for Best Documentary Film at Marbella Film Festival in 2007.

About Maurice Shohet
Maurice Shohet was born in Iraq. On September 2, 1970 Maurice left Baghdad seeking freedom from a country that had over the past few decades made life for the Jews living there difficult and frightening. He traveled with a group of 13 other Jews to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. With the help of some Kurdish smugglers, Maurice and the others he was traveling with escaped to Iran by foot. After staying in the Iranian capital of Tehran for three weeks, Maurice was finally able to immigrate to Israel.

In 2005, Maurice participated in Iraq’s Out-of-Country Voting Program, which was organized and conducted by the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly Election for Iraqis living abroad. On March 29th, 2005 Maurice and eight other Iraqis living in the United States met with President Bush to share their experiences. As the only Jewish person in the group, Maurice told anecdotes of what life was like for Iraq’s Jewish community when the Ba’thist regime came to power. Maurice also expressed his concern for the minorities remaining in Iraq. Maurice received the ASF, American Sephardi Federation leadership award in 2006. Today he is the President of the World Organization of Jews from Iraq (WOJI.)

About Ralph Avi Goldwasser
Ralph Avi Goldwasser, a child of Holocaust survivors, grew up in Israel and New York City where he received a  BS in Engineering from CCNY and an MBA from NYU.

Mr. Goldwasser, a co-founder and former executive director of the David Project, a pro-Israel advocacy group on campus, is the executive producer of several films including the award-winning documentary “Forgotten Refugees.”

RSVP for History and Identity: The Iraqi-Jewish Experience now!

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage

September 4, 2015 to November 15, 2015

Iraqi Jewish Heritage

On September 4, 2015, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum opened a new exhibition, Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage. The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community in Iraq from a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters, and the National Archives’ ongoing work in support of U.S. Government efforts to preserve and make these materials available online. In both English and Arabic, the 2,000 square foot exhibit features 23 recovered original items and a “behind the scenes” look at the fascinating, yet painstaking, preservation process.

The Jews of Iraq have a rich past, extending 2500 years to Babylonia. These materials provide a tangible link to this community that flourished there, but in the second half of the twentieth century dispersed throughout the world. Today fewer than five Jews remain.

Discovery and Recovery was created by the National Archives and Records Administration, with generous support from the U.S. Department of State.

To learn more visit:

The Richard Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 Presidential Libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Nixon Library is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The Museum is fully handicapped accessible. For more information call 714-983-9120 or go to www.nixonlibrary.gov.

The Richard Nixon Foundation is a privately supported, non-profit institution dedicated to educating the public about the life, legacy, and times of the Thirty-Seventh President. For more information call 714-993-5075 or go to www.nixonfoundation.org.

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