“The Sassoons” Author Talk

May 31, 2024, 8:00 pm

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Joseph Sassoon joins us to discuss his book “The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire.”

The Sassoons were part of the large migration of upwardly mobile and fortune-seeking Jews from Baghdad to Asia during the nineteenth century. They initially settled in Bombay (now Mumbai), and as the firm grew, it established branch offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and London. It also expanded to include businesses like merchant banking and textile manufacturing, supplementing the import and export of cotton, silk, tea, textiles, opium, and other products.

This deeply researched, interesting, and readable book was a labor of love for its author, who is a professor of history at Georgetown University and a distant relation of the titular mercantile family. The Sassoons is more than a chronicle of ancestry, however. On the contrary, it covers the economic, political, technological, and diplomatic factors responsible for the rise and then the fall of the family’s fortunes, the alienation of the third and fourth generations from the religious and ethnic identity of its founders, and the younger generations’ belief that commerce was beneath them.

Copies of the book will be for sale to WJC members with payment after Shabbat. Joseph Sasson appears courtesy of the Jewish Book Council’s Author Network.


The event follows:

5:30pm-6:00pm: Preschool Family Shabbat Service
These services are specially designed for families with young children, creating a warm and welcoming space where little ones can connect with their heritage in a fun and engaging way. If you’re looking for a way to introduce your preschooler to the beauty and joy of Shabbat, step into the welcoming embrace of a Family Shabbat Service. You might just discover a new favorite family tradition in the making!

6:00pm-7:00pm: Community Shabbat Dinner 
The entire WJC community is invited to join us for a Shabbat dinner. $18 per adult, $10 per child, $60 per family (max)
RSVP NOW: https://wjcenter.shulcloud.com/form/Rhythm-Ruach-May-31-2024

7:00pm-8:00pm: Rhythm & Ruach
Make WJC your home on Friday night. Join us for an hour-long service to welcome Shabbat, reflect on the week, and connect with God and with each other. Learn new melodies and sing your old favorites, accompanied by our volunteer music ensemble.

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