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Professor Hanna Tzuker Seltzer Moderates a Discussion with Author Matthew Teller

October 18, 2022

Hanna and Matthew TellerThe Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies sponsored the presentation and discussion with author Matthew Teller, which Professor Hanna Tzuker Seltzer moderated.  A native of Jerusalem herself, and the creator of her own Hebrew language course on The Four Dimensional Jerusalem, Professor Tzuker Seltzer led the lively discussion of the author's highly original biography of the city. 

In his book, Teller illustrates that, in Jerusalem, what you see and what is true are two different things. Maps divide the walled Old City into four quarters, yet that division doesn't reflect the reality of mixed and diverse neighbourhoods. Beyond the crush and frenzy of its major religious sites, much of the Old City remains little known to visitors, its people overlooked and their stories untold. Nine Quarters of Jerusalem lets the communities of the Old City speak for themselves. Ranging through ancient past and political present, it evokes the city's depth and cultural diversity.

Teller's book features the Old City's Palestinian and Jewish communities, but also spotlights its Indian and African populations, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac cultures, its downtrodden Dom Gypsy families and its Sufi mystics. It discusses the sources of Jerusalem's holiness and the ideas - often startlingly secular - that have shaped lives within its walls. It is an evocation of place through story, led by the voices of Jerusalemites.