Jael Silliman, University of Iowa

Wednesday, April 2 / 4:00 pm / Lovejoy 215

In the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a thriving Jewish community in Calcutta. Today, there are three synagogues, two schools, a cemetery, and several trust funds to maintain this rich heritage, but there are barely twenty Jews left in Calcutta. Jael Silliman, a community member and scholar, is developing a digital archive that documents the Jewish contributions to the city and to the nation.  The archive showcases their history, social and cultural life. Jael has also recently written a novel, “The Man With Many Hats,” that uses fiction to give the reader a sense of Jewish community life and what it was like to grow up Jewish in Calcutta.  Drawing on her work in curating and developing the archive and her novel, the talk will provide vivid images and a compelling account of Jewish Calcutta.

Sponsored by the Jewish studies program and religious studies department.