Mission Statement

The California Working Group on Jews in the Maghrib and the Middle East


The California Working Group on Jews in the Maghrib and Middle East (CalJeMM) was founded in the fall of 2015 with the goal of creating an intellectual community to promote high level academic research in Middle Eastern Jewish Studies and adjacent fields. CalJemm originated at the University of Southern California and quickly expanded to include the University of California (UC) system, the California State University (CSU) system, and select private universities, whose representatives form a steering committee to jointly manage and fund its activities. CalJemm’s primary constituency is comprised of graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and faculty based in institutions of higher learning in California. Special attention is given to the cultivation of Ph.D. students by offering them opportunities to network with scholars and other students, thus fostering mentorship across universities and helping to grow and define this sub-field for future generations. The members of CalJeMM meet regularly (typically semesterly) to share work in progress, receive feedback from scholars in a variety of disciplines, and exchange pedagogical and research tips. Interspersed with CalJeMM’s regular meetings of its California-based scholars are larger workshops to which are invited scholars in the field from elsewhere in the United States and beyond.