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My Father’s Memoir: From Baghdad to Boston and Beyond

April 25 @ 12:15 pm1:00 pm

Amy S. Dane helped her father, an Iraqi Jew, publish his memoir. Jacob B. Shammash was born into a vital and thriving 2600 year old Jewish community in Iraq that dated back to the first Babylonian captivity in 586 BC. When he was a young teenager, one third of the population of Baghdad was Jewish. Only a couple of decades after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, that same community ceased to exist, obliterated through persecution and exodus for survival.

In his book, Jacob describes his idyllic youth in a land of date palms and orange groves. He is the third of nine children from what was a wealthy business and landowning family. Jacob emigrated from Baghdad to the United States to attend college in 1947. He had no idea that his timing was fortuitous, just before the situation of his people back home became dire. Not all of his family members were as lucky.

Dr. Jacob B. Shammash, a pioneer of pacemaker implantation, had a long and distinguished career in Springfield as a cardio-thoracic and vascular surgeon. On August 8, 2017, at the age of 90, he celebrated his 70th anniversary of his arrival to the United States. It was the “second happiest day of his life.”

Presented by Amy S. Dane, lecturer and photographer

The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program.

Tickets available first-come, first-serve on the day of the lecture at the Welcome Center. The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. Free coffee available. Cookies provided courtesy of Big Y.


April 25
12:15 pm–1:00 pm


Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103 United States


Lectures & Adult Programs