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A Tale of Two Ezras

“When the Lord returns the returnees to Zion, we shall be like dreamers” (Psalms 126:1)

The book of Ezra-Nehemiah is the Biblical record of the Jews’ return from Babylon to Jerusalem, while Iraqi Jews returned to the modern State of Israel in Operation Ezra & Nehemiah in the 20th century. The culture and society of Iraqi Jews was one of the most venerable, passionate, rich and integrated in the Jewish world. But then it all came apart in an explosion of antisemitism, and most left for the Holy Land. Sarah Sassoon and guests explore both these incredible stories, their historical context, the journey of return to a nascent state and the emotional and spiritual quest and struggles both faced.

Two different yet similar tales – yet both ask: What happens when the dream becomes real?

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