(AMHERST, Mass.) – A two-day program led by renowned author and scholar Ilan Stavans (Amherst College), South of the Border will delve into the historical, political, and social contexts of this complex Jewish community with roots in both Eastern Europe and pre-1492 Spain. Informed by his life-long investigation of language and identity and his own experiences as a Jew growing up in Mexico City, Stavans will illuminate the cultural landscape in which the Jews of Latin America search for their roots.
Who are the Jews of Latin America? How have their lives and cultures been shaped by the history of Jews in Spain and Portugal, Russia and Poland? What is their place in the societies of South and Central America today? These are some of the questions at the heart of the weekend program.
Stavans, the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, was born and raised in Mexico. He attended Yiddish day school with other children of Eastern European immigrants. In the 1980s he came to the U.S. as a graduate student and is now an internationally known, award-winning cultural critic, linguist, translator, public speaker, editor, short-story writer, and TV host. His latest work, Return to Centro Histórico: A Mexican Jew Looks for His Roots, makes it possible to understand the intimate role that Jews have played in the development of Hispanic civilization.
South of the Border will include four lectures by Ilan Stavans; discussion groups in Spanish, English, or Yiddish; screening of the award-winning comic film My Mexican Shiva, based on a short-story by Stavans; course packet and books for recommended reading (provided in English or Spanish); a wine and cheese reception with Ilan Stavans; and three kosher, catered meals, beginning with Shabbos dinner.
The cost for the weekend program is $280 for Yiddish Book Center members; $320 for non-members.
For more information or to register: South of the Border or 413.256.4900 x 142