Astrolabe made by a Jewish artist, astrologer and astronomer in Iran, the 17th century. Courtesy of Aliza and Shlomo Musayof.

Light and Shadows - The Story of Iran and the Jews

The exhibition was made possible thanks to the generosity of The Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation

The exhibition Light and Shadows examines one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities. Jews were living in Iran for  3,000 years. As Iran’s oldest religious minority, the Jewish community has confronted numerous challenges, which have affected the overall character of Jewish life in the country. The succession of dynasties and peoples who conquered Iran impacted and enriched Persian Jewish culture in a variety of ways—as has the fact that this community has now lived under Muslim rule for nearly 1,400 years. These influences are revealed in special traditions and unique beliefs. They are also made manifest in the archaeological artifacts, impressive illuminated manuscripts, beautiful ritual objects, amulets, ceremonial garments, musical instruments, photographs, and documentary ephemera presented in this exhibition. Continuing in the Museum’s Goldenberg Galleria, the exhibition examines the modern history of Jews in Iran as well as in Diaspora communities in Israel and the United States. Special emphasis is given to Los Angeles’s own large and dynamic Iranian Jewish community. The exhibition attests to the vibrant life of Iran’s Jewish community from ancient times to the present day. It is a life marked by times of great cultural achievement and periods of prosperity and also by great hardship, persecution, and even forced conversion—truly a story of light and shadows. This exhibition was created and organized by Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Israel. The lead sponsor is the Y & S Nazarian Family Foundation.



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light shadows

Light and Shadows (CLOSED)

The Story of Iran and the Jews

Opening: December 31, 2010

Exhibition Curator: Hagai Segev


Exhibition closed August 31, 2011