Dr. Benjamin Gampel teaches at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he holds the Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History
Following a year of local archive research in Spain, Gampel was able to recreate some of the long-forgotten history of the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula, in "The Last Jews on Iberian Soil." He edited "Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World," (Columbia University Press, 1998), and wrote an essay in "Cultures of the Jews" (ed. David Biale).Of personal interest to me was the fact that Dr. Gampel returned to Spanish archives for his current project, a book-length treatment of the riots and forced conversions of 1391 on the Iberian Peninsula. Our family believes we left Lerida/Llerida in Catalunya following the 1391 riots that destroyed that particular community. In the Lerida archives, we discovered a document from 1353 with our unusual family name, and several additional documents and index mentions from the early 1390s. I'm looking forward to this new book
Most events during the Glatzer Memorial Weekend are free (there are fees for Friday night dinner and Sunday breakfast) and open to the community. All lectures are free.
Friday begins with a 6pm Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat, a community dinner and Gampel's 8pm lecture on "Jews, Judaism and the Rise of Islam."
On Shabbat, Gampel will deliver "Sephardic Jewry Comes of Age, How Golden Was It?" during Shachrit services; following Kiddish, he will speak on "Sex, Food and the Lush Garden: Religious Piety Confronts Sensual Pleasure." After Maariv and Havdallah, the talk will be "Gazing into the Countenance of the Divine: Confronting the Riddle of Jewish Apostasy."
The Sunday morning talk is "Crises of Identity in 17th Century Amsterdam: The Case of Barukh Spinoza."
See the event flyer here for more details and reservation forms.