Faculty Mentor

Dr. Chris Rominger, Assistant Professor

Faculty Mentor Department


Associated Prize (or Other Information)

2023 Undergraduate Student Library Research Prize Recipient (Honorable Mention)


This study examines the Sephardic-Mizrahi nationalist strategy in the British and French mandates of the early 20th century. Scholars including Abigail Jacobson, Moshe Naor, and Yitzhak Bezalel indicate this community developed a unique approach to nationalism. Utilizing Alex Winder’s conceptual framework for violence, Yehuda Shamir’s conceptual framework for culture and Rashid Khalidi’s analytical framework, this study broadens the research on Sephardic-Mizrahi communities, the development of 20th century nationalism, and the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Drawing on correspondences, reports and newspapers, this paper argues a Sephardic-Mizrahi Moment began by 1925, employing institutions— such as activist organizations and the press—to simultaneously achieve cultural renewal, Jewish-Arab rapprochement and Zionism. By 1929 the Sephardic-Mizrahi Moment foreclosed, with the Western Wall Riots signifying that institutions ironically wrought cultural decoupling, Jewish-Arab violence and the defeat of Sephardic-Mizrahi Zionist organizations. While the brief rise of the Sephardic-Mizrahi Moment represented the diversity of early 20th century nationalism, its fall symbolized the closure of possibilities for Jewish and Arab nationalists.