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Community and Control in the Sephardic Diaspora

Community and Control in the Sephardic Diaspora

(p.76) 4 Community and Control in the Sephardic Diaspora
After Expulsion
Jonathan Ray
NYU Press

This chapter examines the development of Jewish political structures. Over the course of the sixteenth century, the Sephardic world was built upon an organic manifestation of cultural identity, but it was also shaped by a core tension within this emerging diaspora community between the government and the governed. In other words, the way in which successive generations of Sephardic Jews established and maintained political frameworks in their new lands of settlement highlights the distinction between the formation of sociocultural and sociopolitical communities. While shared cultural heritage was an important factor in organizing Iberian Jews into new congregations and communities, this same process was also marked by widespread conflict between the vast majority of the Jewish polity and those Jews who sought to position themselves as their communities' principal governing agents.

Keywords:   Jewish political structures, Sephardic Diaspora, Sephardic Jews, cultural heritage, Iberian Jews, Jewish polity

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