[VIRTUAL] Under Quarantine: Immigrants and Disease at Israel's Gate

Date: October 22, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Israel/Palestine Series - Plague and Quarantine: Past and Future
A program of CU Jewish Studies

Rhona Seidelman, Schusterman Chair of Israel Studies and Assistant Professor of History, University of Oklahoma

Under Quarantine tells the story of Shaar Ha’aliya, a central immigrant processing camp that opened shortly after Israel became an independent state. This historic gateway for Jewish migration was surrounded by a controversial barbed wire fence. The camp administrators defended this imposing barrier as a necessary quarantine measure - even as detained immigrants regularly defied it by crawling out of the camp and returning at will. Professor Seidelman will explore the history of Shaar Ha’aliya and the remarkable experiences of the immigrants who went through it. The focus on the conflicts surrounding the medical quarantine at Shaar Ha’aliya will allow us to explore how this history can be of value during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we live through this critical moment in quarantine history.

Rhona Seidelman is the Schusterman Chair of Israel Studies and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma. Her research is on the history of immigration, the history of medicine/public health and the history of Israel. Originally from Canada, Professor Seidelman has a B.A. and an M.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Before moving to Oklahoma, she taught at Ben Gurion University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her book Under Quarantine: Immigrants and Disease at Israel’s Gate (Rutgers, 2020) tells the story of Shaar Ha’aliya, Israel’s “Ellis Island” during the mass immigration that followed the establishment of the state in 1948. Seidelman’s book focuses on the conflicts surrounding the camp’s medical quarantine of Israel’s new immigrants. Currently Professor Seidelman is working on two new projects. Claiming My Egypt explores questions of identity among the children of Egypt’s Jewish diaspora. Zionism, Tuberculosis and the Making of the 20th Century is a book on patients’ experiences with tuberculosis in Palestine/Israel from 1882 until today. Dr. Seidelman’s articles have been published in The American Journal of Public Health, The Journal of AIsraeli History, AJS Perspectives, and Ha’aretz.

Thursday, October 22 | 7 - 8 pm | FREE