TORONTO — Against the background of the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, noted scholar Rifat Bali discusses the Jews of Turkey, one of the key elements in the strategic relationship between Israel and Turkey. His recent book, Model Citizens of the State: The Jews of Turkey during the Multi-Party Period (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012) describes the struggle of Turkish Jews from 1950 to the present for their constitutional rights, their fight against anti-Semitism, and the attitude of the Turkish establishment to these problems. It details the Turkish-Jewish leadership’s involvement in the lobbying efforts on behalf of the Turkish Republic against the acceptance of resolutions in the US Congress recognizing the Armenian Genocide. The book gives insight into the situation of all minorities in Turkey today.

Here is a sample of what others have to say about this important publication:

“With the publication of the highly original Turkish Jews in the Republican Years, Rifat Bali established himself as the leading authority on Turkish Jewry.”

-Marc David Baer, author of The Donme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks

“Model Citizens of the State is carefully researched, clearly written, and persuasively argued. It narrates masterfully the complex history of Turkish Jews’ relationship to the modern Turkish Republic, exposing the tightrope act they have often undertaken as they moved between the position of suspect and model minority. Bali’s monumental book promises to become the ultimate reference work on Jews in twentieth-century Turkey for a long time to come.”

-Julia Phillips Cohen, assistant professor of Modern Jewish History, Vanderbilt University

Rifat N. Bali is an independent scholar specializing in the history of Turkish Jews and an associate member of the Alberto-Benveniste Center for Sephardic Studies and the Sociocultural History of the Jews (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes/CNRS/Université Paris-Sorbonne). He is the winner of the Alberto Benveniste Research Award for 2009 for his publications on Turkish Jewry.

Bali’s appearances will take place at the following venues on the following dates:

– Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 7:45 St. Leon Armenian Church, 12-61 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, NJ
Organized by the Zoryan Institute, with the participation of the Armenian National Committee of NJ, Armenian Network of America – Greater NY, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), New York Armenian Students Association, St. Leon Armenian Church, Tekeyan Cultural Association, Tibrevank Alumni

– Thursday, Oct. 17, 8:00 p.m. at NAASR, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA
Organized by the Zoryan Institute, with the participation of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)

– Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at Bolsahay Community Centre, 2855 Victor Doré, Montréal, Québec
Organized by the Zoryan Institute, with the participation of the Armenian General Benevolent Union of Montreal, the Armenian National Committee, and the Bolsahay Cultural Association of Montreal.

– Monday, October 21, 2013, 8:00 p.m. at Beth Tikvah Synagogue, 3080 Bayview Ave, Toronto, Ontario
Organized by the Zoryan Institute, with the participation of Beth Tikvah Synagogue and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

-Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at AGBU Alex Manoogian Centre, 930 Progress Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
Organized by the Zoryan Institute, with the participation of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Armenian Missionary Association of Canada, the Bolsahay Cultural Association of Toronto, Daughters of Vartan-Artemis Ortyag #28, Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Knights of Vartan-Alishan Lodge, and St. Gregory Armenian Catholic Church.

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