On woman and Revolution: The Story of the Baghdadi Jews community

The Sir Dr. Naim Dangoor Centre for Universal Monotheism

Homage to Renee Dangoor

A festive gala opening event was held last week (April, 2018) at Bar Ilan University to mark the 10th anniversary of the activities of Sir Naim Dangoor’s Universal Monotheism Program. The evening, which was dedicated to the late Renee Dangoor (Spouse of Sir Naim Dangoor and former Beauty Queen of Baghdad) , included three parts: Exhibition opening “Women, Laws and What Is Between Them”, presenting Jewish women in Baghdad. In a fascinating journey starting from the end of the 19th century until the events of the Farhud (uprisings) and its consciousness. The pictures describes, among other things, the revolution of fashion and clothing, from the traditional Muslim dress through the influences of the British occupation and later, the active involvement of women in the Zionist underground. The Exhibition will be displayed in the lobby of the Music Building (1005) until the end of the academic year, June 2018.

The conference, introduced some of the main women leaders accompanying the initiative, headed by Dr. Danielle Gurevitch, The Chair of the Dangoor program from its inception a decade ago. Dr. Gurevitch moderated the entire evening as well. The project partner, Mrs. Aliza Dayan-Hamama, Director of the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda . The exhibition treasurer, Orly Bachar-Levi, who presented the rational of the  depicted pictures and the stories behind them, added by “moral” quotations written for the guidance of women in Iraq; Fattal-Kuperwasser, a lieutenant colonel in the reserves,  fascinated the audience talking about her personal journey in the time tunnel to Baghdad, as a daughter of Iraqi parents, following her extensive research in preparation for her excellent novel, “The Pictures on the Wall.” She summed up by saying: “The novel connected me to my Jewish roots, strengthened me as a woman through the wisdom of our grandmothers and mothers, even though they were weak in the traditional society of the time, and brought me as a person to build cultural bridges between us and intellectuals in today’s Iraq, hoping to bring about a change for the better in our region, I am curtain that Nuria [ the Heroine of her novel] together with our grandmothers, born at the end of the 19th century in Iraq, mocks from up there the arrogant teacher who described them at the time the following: “They grow as thousands of these creatures raise and breed, which nature has deprived them of the gift of speech … And if their brain will be examined, you will find that the gland בלוטה of superstition beliefs occupies half their brain.”

“The novel connected me to my Jewish roots, strengthened me as a woman through the wisdom of our grandmothers and mothers, even though they were weak in the traditional society of the time, and brought me as a person to build cultural bridges between us and intellectuals in today’s Iraq, hoping to bring about a change for the better in our region”

Zionit Fattal-Kuperwasser

The session was concluded by the performance of talented actress and comedian Anat Aviad who amused the audience presenting the humorous yet intelligent character of the Baghdadi immigrant Naima Somech.

Prof. Arie Zaban honored the event with his presence.  President Zaban accompanied the program over the past four years as part of his previous position as vice president for research, and is one of the most influential leaders enabling the Sir Naim Dangoor program for Universal Monotheism to expand after a decade of activity, from a program to a center.

The Sir Dr. Naim Dangoor Centre for Universal Monotheism
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