Presented as part of the Literary Studies Seminar Series.
Change affects cityscapes and structures and shapes the histories and meanings that individuals seek within them. The displacement of Mizrahim (‘Arabic Jews’) has meant that the urban landscapes of their original hometowns are peppered with abandoned, reused, and repurposed buildings. Many of these are sacred sites, for example synagogues, while others are more mundane but still meaningful, such as family homes and apartments. These are now contested spaces which hold different meanings and memories for those Jewish and non-Jewish locals who live in the area as opposed to Mizrahim who are now resettled overseas. As well as current locals, multiple stakeholders now hold an interest in these sites, such as the heritage industry, museum, and municipal and national governments.