It is one of the most uplifting – yet often forgotten – stories of Jewish survival during the Holocaust. In the early 1940s, the Dominican Republic was the only sovereign country to accept large numbers of Jewish refugees. About 750 German and Austrian Jews found a safe haven on an abandoned banana plantation in a town called Sosua on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast. Why did the Dominican Republic accept Jewish refugees when so many other countries turned their backs? As a travel journalist, Dan Fellner visited Sosua and interviewed original settlers. He observed firsthand the fascinating remnants of Jewish life in this unconventional colony that’s become known as “Tropical Zion.”
This program is cohosted by Jewish Family and Children’s Services.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Dan Fellner is an eight-time Fulbright fellow, university instructor and freelance travel writer/photographer. He has published over 150 travel articles in various magazines and newspapers around the world. His work has been featured in such publications as USA Today, The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Post and The Arizona Republic. In 1998 Fellner joined Arizona State University as a faculty associate and has taught courses in print and broadcast journalism, public relations, international mass media, intercultural communications, and travel writing. He is a faculty affiliate with ASU’s Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies, and currently teaches courses in travel writing, Eastern Europe, Asia, unique Jewish communities, and river cruising for ASU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Fellner has received Fulbright Scholar grants to Latvia, Moldova, and Bulgaria; and Fulbright Specialist grants to Lithuania, Latvia, Indonesia, and North Macedonia (twice). Most recently, he was a Fulbright Specialist at Southeast European University in North Macedonia during the 2021 fall semester.