PROF. SHALOM SABAR
Who am I? I was born in the ages old neo-Aramaic speaking Kurdish-Jewish community of Zakho, Iraq and immigrated to Israel with my family while I was a few weeks old. I grew up in small and poor Jerusalem during the early years of the new state, and later studied art history, philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University (1974-1976). I continued my studies abroad and earned my MA and PhD in art history at the University of California Los Angeles (1987). My PhD dissertation dealt with the patronage and art of the illustrated Ketubbah (marriage contract) of Italian Jews during the Baroque period. Subsequently I returned to Israel to teach at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where I currently serve as a professor of Jewish art and folklore. My research joins together the disciplines of art history, folklore, history and anthropology, to shed light on Jewish art and material culture, visual materials and objects associated with rituals in the life and year cycles, and the evidence these materials provide about Jewish daily life and the relationships between the Jewish minorities and the societies that hosted them in Christian Europe and the Islamic East. My published work in several languages deals with these and related aspects. I served as a visiting professor and lecture widely in universities, museums and other public institutions in Israel, the US and Europe. In addition I lead traveling seminars to Jewish sites and monuments in selected countries in Europe, Central Asia and North Africa.