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Judaic Studies welcomes Prof. Devin Naar for annual Lorry I. Lokey
Monday, May 19, 2014 - 7:30pm

WHAT: Prof. Devin Naar of the University of Washington is the 2014 Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies’ Lorry I. Lokey Lecture guest. Naar, the Marsha & Jay Glazer Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Coordinator of the Sephardic Studies Initiative, will speak on “The Sephardim of America: Their Origins and Destinations.”

Free and open to the public. A discussion and light reception follow the lecture.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 19

WHERE: Smith Memorial Student Union, room 238 (Browsing Lounge) 

DETAILS: Originally from New Jersey, Devin Naar graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis. Following a year in Greece as a Fulbright Scholar, Naar began his Ph.D. in history at Stanford University. Naar’s dissertation, “Jewish Salonica and the ‘Making of the Jerusalem of the Balkans,’ 1890-1943,” received the Elizabeth Spillman Rosenfeld Prize for best written dissertation in Stanford’s Department of History in 2011. 

The professor also spearheads the new Sephardic Studies Initiative at UW as part of the Stroum Jewish Studies Program. Naar has begun a pilot project, “Seattle Sephardic Treasures,” which seeks to uncover the rich Ladino and Sephardic heritage in Seattle and preserve source materials for future generations. 

The 2014 Lorry I. Lokey lecture kicks off a season of celebrating a century of Sephardic Jewry and culture here in Portland. The local Sephardic synagogue, Congregation Ahavath Achim, spearheaded Vida Sefaradi, the series of spring events in honor of the community’s 100-year milestone. 

On Sun., June 1, Congregation Ahavath Achim hosts a gala dinner and opening ceremonies for Vida Sefaradi’s “A Century of Sephardic Life in Portland” at 5 p.m., in Congregation Shaarie Torah’s Social Hall, at 920 N.W. 25th Ave. It will feature Sephardic foods, music, speakers and a preview of the “Vida Sefaradi” DVD and catalogue featured later in the month at the Oregon Jewish Museum (OJM). Event reservations are required.

June 11 is the debut of a multimedia exhibit highlighting a century of Sephardic life in Portland at the OJM, guest curated by Sura Rubenstein. The OJM’s exhibit runs through Oct. 19, and is located at 1953 N.W. Kearney St. Naar –- along with Rubenstein and professors Laura Leibman of Reed College and Ellen Eisenberg of Willamette University -- contributed essays to the exhibit catalogue. 

A Century of Sephardic Life in Portland is a partnership between the OJM, Sephardic Congregation Ahavath Achim, and PSU’s Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies. This centenary celebration presents and preserves the history of Portland’s Sephardic community. 

For more information about the entire celebration and its related events, please click to