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Leah Nassi of Lisbon

Leah Nassi, a young Jewish girl was forced to grow up too quickly. Having lost her mother before she was bat mitzvah, Leah's world takes a dramatic turn when world events rock her family and their culture to its core. Leah Nassi of Lisbon: A Historical Novel, is the latest book from acclaimed academic and author, Drora Arussy. The book brings together adventure, morality, cultural exploration, and historical fact into a coming-of-age story set in tumultuous 1490's Spain and Portugal.


Leah, her merchant father and brother are living their lives in Lisbon, Portugal, when chaos strikes. Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella unleash the decree that will see Spain's historic Jewish population forced to convert, expelled from their homeland, or worse. In the midst of the tumult, Leah and her family formulate a plan to rescue as many Jews as they can and spare them the misery of the Inquisition, even if it comes at great personal expense to them.

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Jews and Muslims of Morocco

Multiple traditions of Jewish origins in Morocco emphasize the distinctiveness of Moroccan Jewry as indigenous to the area, rooted in its earliest settlements and possessing deep connections and associations with the historic peoples of the region. The creative interaction of Moroccan Jewry with the Arab and Berber cultures was noted in the Jews’ use of Morocco’s multiple languages and dialects, characteristic poetry, and musical works as well as their shared magical rites and popular texts and proverbs. In Jews and Muslims in Morocco: Their Intersecting Worlds historians, anthropologists, musicologists, Rabbinic scholars, Arabists, and linguists analyze  this culture, in all its complexity and hybridity. The volume’s collection of essays span political and social interactions throughout history, cultural commonalities, traditions, and halakhic developments. As Jewish life in Morocco has dwindled, much of what is left are traditions maintained in Moroccan ex-pat communities, and memories of those who stayed and those who left. The volume concludes with shared memories from the perspective of a Jewish intellectual from Morocco, a Moroccan Muslim scholar, an analysis of a visual memoir painted by the nineteenth-century artist, Eugène Delacroix, and a photo essay of the vanished world of Jewish life in Morocco.

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