Persian Jewish Pride: From Babylonian Times to Post-Iranian Revolution; Featuring Sharon Nik | Season II: Episode 8

The audience is in for an in-depth look at Persian Jewry as shared by Jewish Iranian community leader & activist, Sharon Nik, whose family on both sides spans thousands of years in Iran.

Jews first came to Iran as part of the Babylonian Exile, and it was Cyrus the Great who later freed all slaves in Persia, including Jews, and established the Persian Empire. Under Cyrus, Jews were free to return to Israel, but many stayed behind and became thriving members of the then new society.

When Islam took over Iran, many centuries later, the treatment of Jews shifted, depending on geography. Unlike in Yemen, where the cities were antisemitic and the villages, far less so, in Iran, the cities tended to be more tolerant, with more rural areas more anti-Jew.

Sharon’s family experienced both post-Islamic incursion treatments. However, there were Jews who worked in close proximity to the most recent Shah, saw the friendship grow between Israel and Iran, pre-Revolution of 1979, and Jews contributed greatly to Iran on all fronts.

Jews were also very assimilated in Iran, sharing the same foods as Muslims, same music, and in many cases, culture. The only difference was faith, to which Jews in Persia held on strongly.

Join us as we discuss Persian Jewish customs, Persian Jewish community bonds, the return to Israel and immigration to the U.S; among other topics. We also touch on a potential post-Islamist regime change-Iran, and Sharon’s honest thoughts regarding a potential reconciliation with Israel.