The Sephardic Jewish Diaspora in the Mediterranean and Beyond Migration has been a feature of human existence since the very dawn of history.  It has taken various forms and its intensity has varied over time.  This century promises to be one of considerable population movements as a consequence of demographic changes presently underway. As populations in the 'developed' world plummet it is calculated that countries like Germany, for example, will have to import a million migrants of working age per year by the year 2020, as their own populations become older. But the clamour for workers from the business sector is often drowned by the opposition to migrants from other sections of society. When these migrant communities are from a markedly different cultural background, with a different religion, a different ethnicity and so on, the tensions can be even greater. Events like the 11 September 2001 and its aftermath have shown how these transnational  communities are often perceived as threats to established lifestyles and state security, and potential sources of international terrorism. These transnational communities are often referred to as ethnic diasporas.

The term 'diaspora', of Greek origin and meaning 'dispersion' or 'scattering', has come to refer to a very broad range of situations including: migrants in general; political, religious and other refugees and expellees; ethnic and racial minorities and aliens; and so on. Dispersal; myths and memories of a homeland, a willingness to support it, and a desire to return to it; a sense of alienation in a foreign land; and the survival of a collective identity; are the principal ingredients which are commonly held to make up the diasporic phenomenon.

The Mediterranean Institute of the University of Malta has invited Tito Mesod Benady and Aline P'nina Tayar to give us their own particular take on the subject of what historian Jonathan Israel has called " ...the single most flexible and widest-ranging, historically, of the classical diasporas...," namely, the Sephardic Jewish Diaspora, on the evening of  Saturday, 7 May 2005.

Tito Benady is a distinguished historian who has written extensively about subjects such as Sephardic Jews in general; the Jewish communities in  Gibraltar, Malta and Minorca; the Royal Navy; and so on. Aline Tayar, on the other hand, is a poet and novelist who is probably best known in Malta for her personal odyssey in search of her roots in How Shall We Sing? A Mediterranean Journey Through a Jewish Family.

Members of the public who would like to attend are kindly requested to email their name, address and telephone number to or phone 2340-2985 during office hours.

Aline P'nina Tayar

Tito Mesod Benady