ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
The project of oral history consists of the compilation of original documents and the recording of different individuals' personal history as retold during interviews. The majority of these individuals were involved, to various degrees, whether in federal and governmental decision-making processes or in academic, cultural or social organizations.
As such, these individuals are first hand witnesses of historically significant events, which makes their stories archivally important. Moreover, these interviews also include sociologically valuable information on the artistic, social, and cultural lives of Jews in Iran. These individuals' oral memoirs are initially recorded during prescheduled interviews and subsequently archived for the research use of future scholars.
Essentially, our objective is to make up for the current absence of documented Jewish Iranian oral history in the existing body of oral history projects around the world. During its decade of work, CIJOH has conducted 125 interviews with Iranian Jews who have played a significant role in the history, literature, and culture of Iran since that country's Constitutional Revolution in 1906. Recorded on archival tape, these interviews are now available to researchers working on the history of Jews in twentieth-century Iran.
These interviews have been conducted and added to our archive since the start of the project with the collaboration of Avi Davidi, Sandra Delrahim, Faryar Nikbakht, Iraj Safai, Homa Sarshar, Dariush Setareh, Sahar Younai, and Minoo Zahabian Koutal. Also a collection of Shira (traditional Judeo-Persian songs) from different Iranian cities (Shiraz, Isfahan, Sanandaj, Kashan, Tehran, Hamedan…) has been recorded. A copy of all these tapes as well as the archive of video documentaries, taped interviews, documents, pictures, and lore will be open to researchers and the public, starting year 2007, in three different Centers in two different countries: a Center located in Los Angeles at UCLA-Jewish & Middle Eastern Library, in Washington, at The Library of Congress, and at the Tel Aviv University-Center for Iranian Studies