Karaite Jews of America to Host Conference on Karaite Judaism

Karaite Communities of EuropeLast night, April 17, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Karaite Jews of America reaffirmed the KJA’s commitment to hosting a conference on Karaite Judaism in 2014.

This is spectacular news. And for about seven years now, I’ve been dreaming about such a conference. I’ve always thought that a conference of this sort would be the first of its kind.

I am pleasantly surprised to be wrong.

A few months ago, I was sifting through some books at the library of the Karaite Jews of America. One rather small work, which I had never seen before, was called The Karaite Communities in Poland, Lithuania, Russia and Crimea.*

Tucked in the back of the book was a letter to “fellow Karaite[s]” from Joe Moussa, then President of the Karaite Jews of America, dated May 21, 1993. The letter describes how Messrs. Mourad El-Kodsi, Ovadia El Gamil, and Benoit Massuda visited these historic Karaite communities in 1991.

The following line of the letter caught my attention, “At the end of the trip, the committee went to Ramla, Israel to attend the first international Karaite conference.” (Emphasis in original.)

I’ll provide additional information about next year’s conference as the KJA makes it available. In the meantime, post to the comments any topics you’d be interested in learning about at this conference. I’ll pass them along to the KJA.

KJA Letter 1993

*The book, interestingly, was written by Mourad El-Kodsi, who also wrote The Karaite Jews of Egypt.

Today is the 5th day of the 3rd week of seven weeks. Today is the 19th day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.


Filed under Karaite Conferences, Karaite Jews of America

8 Responses to Karaite Jews of America to Host Conference on Karaite Judaism

  1. Conferences like these have abounded just over the past several years here in Israel. Now I see it’s becoming all the rage across the ocean as well. B’hazlacha.

    • True. Those other conferences are mainly hosted by academics. This one is for people who want to live as Karaites. (The KJA is still considering an “Academic Track” for people interested in observing/participating from a scholarly perspective – and the community is planning to reach out to scholars generally.)

  2. Good to see that your previous article about Karaites being “Endangered Species” did not fall on deaf ears! May HaShem bless this conference and may its decisions be wise and fruitful.

  3. do they still have these conferences in Ramla? are they in english?

  4. Nora

    If you need help planning — let me know. 🙂

  5. I am still new to Karaite Judaism (converted Rabbinic in 2000) and I am not sure whether to call myself “Karaite” or “Dati.” I would love to attend a conference even if it is to help me build up a network within the Karaite community.

    I must say that your blog has been a blessing for me. At least I know there are other (American) Karaites who really care about making sure Karaite Judaism survives – and thrives!

  6. serge

    Shawn if we pursue inviting the scholars, here’s Marina Rustow’s information at Johns Hopkins. If we decide to invite scholars, we can call for donations to fund their travel/stay. I’ll pitch in. Trick will be to get a large enough forum for Karaites as well as the rest of the Jewish community to have access to the presentations..JCC maybe?


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