JGSGM Sunday, April 3 at 10:30 a.m. THE SECOND EXODUS-The Clandestine Jewish Immigrants to Palestine #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Jgsgm President

The following events are done in collaboration with

Temple Beth Am Library’s Sunday Salon & Sephardi Voices

The Second Exodus

The Clandestine Jewish Immigrants to Palestine Prior to Israel Independence

Sunday, April 3 at 10:30 a.m.


Gemma R. Birnbaum

Executive director of

American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS)



This presentation will focus on clandestine immigration immediately before, during, and after World War II, as persecuted Jews in Europe tried to make their way into the British Mandate of Palestine, often deemed illegally by the British authorities who controlled the region. This journey was dangerous and failed more often than it succeeded. These immigration restrictions, many of which were laid out in 1939’s British White Paper, became the subject of international debate after images of Jewish refugees being forced off ships at gunpoint and incarcerated in camps in Cyprus emerged in the media. Conspiracy theories around whether the Jews were truly refugees began to emerge, and Jewish leaders around the globe, members of the United Nations, and the Truman administration found themselves embroiled in a fight to have these restrictions lifted and the prisoners in Cyprus released. By 1948, increased Jewish immigration to Palestine increased regional tensions, and as the state of Israel was established, the situation exploded into a continued refugee crisis and all-out war.



Gemma R. Birnbaum is a non-profit executive, learning specialist, digital storyteller, and strategist currently serving as Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society in New York.

Originally from Queens, NY, Gemma holds a bachelor’s in history and Judaic Studies from New York University and a master’s degree in the History of Twentieth Century Labor and Civil Rights from Tulane University. she previously worked in charge on media production, distance learning and community engagement programs.

Gemma is currently Executive Director of the American Jewish historical Society in New York City

Dr. Henry A Green

Founder of Sephardi Voices      Moderator

A Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami and former Director of the Judaic/Sephardi Studies Program.  He is the founder of Sephardi Voices, a digital audio-visual archive project to document the exodus of Jews from Arab countries post World War Two. The archive will be hosted by the National Library of Israel and available for all without cost.  Dr. Green testified before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in Washington D.C.  on the topic of truth, justice, and reconciliation for Jewish refugees from Arab countries, and serves on a number of boards for Sephardi-related organizations.  His most recent book, co-authored with Richard Stursberg, Sephardi Voices: The Untold Expulsion of Jews from Arab Lands (Figure 1, 2022) was just released and provides hundreds of portraits of interviewees and unseen photos of life in Arab lands.            


To join us by Zoom, contact to get a link



Co Sponsors    Sephardi Voices, Temple Beth Am Sunday Salon, Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami  



Paulette Bronstein
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami


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