Prof Ori Soltes, an Art Historian, and Prof, Georgetown University

Prof Ori Soltes, an Art Historian, and Prof, Georgetown University

  • Ori Z. Soltes teaches at Georgetown University across a range of disciplines, from art history and theology to philosophy and political history.

 

Podcast

Overview

The Jewish community was once a thriving community in India. In 1948, after the formation of the state of Israel, 33000 Jews migrated to Israel leaving behind around 5000 Jews in India. Over 70,000 Indian Jews now live in Israel (over 1% of Israel’s total population). Though Judaism is a prominent religion in the world, the average Indian has little knowledge of it.

Prof Ori Soltes, an Art Historian, and Prof, at Georgetown University, talks about the subject in detail.

00:28- About Ori Soltes

  • Ori Z. Soltes teaches at Georgetown University across a range of disciplines, from art history and theology to philosophy and political history.
  • He is the former Director of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, and has curated more than 85 exhibitions on history, ethnography, and modern and contemporary art at that museum and in other venues across the country and overseas.
  • He is also the author of 300 books, articles, exhibition catalogs, and essays on a variety of topics; and the writer, producer, and narrator of diverse video courses.

02:41- About Indian Jews

  • There would be a kind of natural disposition for India to host a community of Jews because India itself is so incredibly diverse from its geography and topography to its own diverse religious traditions even within what we outsiders mistakenly refer to as Hinduism.
  • India is vast, and it is diverse, so to bring in another group is not a big surprise, and that group has its own vast and diverse history.
  • The Baghdadi Jews so-called presumably came from the Middle East, from the area in and around Baghdad but perhaps elsewhere as well and that was relatively late 17th- 18th Century.
  • The Cochin Jews have a series of accounts of where and when they exactly came from and the Bene Israel, which is the largest of the communities, so I chose their name to put in the title.

Profile

  • Ori Z. Soltes teaches at Georgetown University across a range of disciplines, from art history and theology to philosophy and political history.
  • He is the former Director of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, and has curated more than 85 exhibitions on history, ethnography, and modern and contemporary art at that museum and in other venues across the country and overseas.
  • He is also the author of 300 books, articles, exhibition catalogues, and essays on a variety of topics; and the writer, producer, and narrator of diverse video courses.

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