Mikhal Dekel is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the City College and the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of CCNY’s Rifkind Center for Humanities and the Arts. She is the recipient of many awards—including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation and the Lady Davis Foundation—and is the author of three books: Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey (W. W. Norton 2019); Oedipus in Kishinev (Bialik Institute, 2014) and The Universal Jew (Northwestern UP, 2011). Her articles, translations, and blogs have appeared in many publications, including the Journal of Comparative Literature, English Literary History, Jewish Social Studies and Callaloo, among others.
In this talk, she discusses her most recent book, Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey. Beginning in March 1942, Iran became a place of refuge to over one hundred thousand Polish citizens—Catholic but also Jewish—who joined other Jewish refugees already there. Professor Dekel, whose father was a child refugee in Tehran, will discuss the circumstances that brought him and others to Iran, the reception they received there, the arrival of Jewish aid organizations, and the mutual impact of refugees and host country on each other.