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An Introduction to Medieval Spanish Jewish Poetry

November 5, 2017 @ 9:45 am - 10:45 am

Please join us as Professor Stacy Beckwith, a local expert from Carleton College, leads a discussion on medieval Sephardic poetry.

Through animal, nature, and garden images, legendary Hebrew poets in medieval Spain yearned for a loving, intensely personal relationship with God. But along with bringing God’s name into their hearts, did you know that some of these writers’ poems were also professional C.V.s of their day, or business cards? How about social gossip columns? We’ll explore several fascinating functions of medieval Sephardic poetry after an overview of Jewish history in pre-modern Spain. By looking at some poem endings in a blend of Hebrew, Arabic, and period French and Spanish, we’ll be able to experience some of Spain’s fabled Jewish-Muslim-Christian coexistence, as well.

Stacy Beckwith is a Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at Carleton College in Northfield. She directs Carleton’s Judaic Studies program and often serves as Chair of the Middle Eastern Languages Department. She teaches Hebrew, Israeli and Palestinian film and literature, and Jewish collective memory courses. Her scholarship focuses on how and why several non-Jewish authors in Spain today include historic Iberian Jews, forced Catholic converts, and Inquisition history in their popular fiction. Stacy’s edited volume, Charting Memory: Recalling Medieval Spain (Garland, 2000), examines modern Jewish, Arab, and Hispanic memories of multicultural Iberia, as expressed in ongoing traditions of music, poetry, prayer, architecture, and name giving.

This discussion is free and open to the community.

For more information or to rsvp, please contact Liz Rappaport

Related Event
November 16 | 7:30 pm

Premiere of a new dance work rooted in the writings of the Golden Age Sephardic poets, explored through the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam.

More information on the dance performance can be found HERE



November 5, 2017
9:45 am - 10:45 am
Event Category:


Beth El Synagogue
5225 Barry Street West
Saint Louis Park, MN 55416 United States


Beth El Synagogue (Organizer)