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Jewish Refugees find a Haven in the Dominican Republic


12 Nov 2020, 6:00pm





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Join us and our guest speaker Dr Marion Kaplan, Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University, for this online Zoom talk to hear more about how some Jewish refugees adapted to a new life across an ocean.

This is the story of how a small group of harried Jews, fleeing for their lives from Nazi persecution, found a welcoming haven in the Dominican Republic. Once the Dominican government had extended its invitation, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a philanthropic organization in New York, took action.  In 1940, it set up Sosúa, a small agricultural settlement on the northeastern shore of the island. The refugees could only describe this abandoned banana plantation as “paradise.”  But they faced daunting problems. Middle-class, urban, northern Europeans, they needed to learn a new language and acquire new skills while adjusting to a hot climate and worrying about loved ones left behind in Europe.

This talk will take place at 6.00pm GMT – if joining us from a different country, please check the timezone appropriate to where you are.