Saba Soomekh

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Saba Soomekh
Born Saba T. Soomekh
Teheran, Iran
Fields Religious studies
Institutions Loyola Marymount University
California State University, Northridge
Education University of California, Berkeley (B.A. 1998)
Harvard Divinity School (M.T.S. 2001)
University of California, Santa Barbara (Ph.D. 2008)
Notable awards Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal (2013)

Saba T. Soomekh[1] (Persian: صبا سومخ‎‎) is an Iranian-born American professor and author.

Early life and education[edit]

Soomekh was born in Teheran, Iran[2] to Hamid and Manijeh Soomekh.[3] She is a sister of Hollywood actress Bahar Soomekh.[4] The Persian Jewish family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1978 to escape the Islamic Revolution of Iran with Soomekh only two years old.[3][5]

She attended Beverly Hills High School[3] and received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1998, her Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.[2]

Teaching career[edit]

Saba Soomekh is the Associate Director of Research at UCLA's Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies.[6] She was previously a theological studies professor in the Religious Studies Department at California State University, Northridge and at Loyola Marymount University, where she also served as Interim Director of the Jewish Studies program.[7]

Soomekh also teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles[8] and previously taught at California State University, Fullerton, American Jewish University and Santa Monica College.

Writing career[edit]

Soomekh is the author of "From the Shahs to Los Angeles: Three Generations of Iranian Jewish Women between Religion and Culture" published by State University of New York Press. The book won the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for religion.[9] She has written extensively on the Iranian Jewish community and on women in the Middle East.


  1. ^ "Saba Soomekh salaries". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "JIMENA biography". JIMENA. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Ghert-Zand, Renee (February 4, 2014). "Iranian Jewish scholar breaks stereotypes while studying them". The Times of Israel. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Prominent Iranian-Americans". United States Department of State. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Meet Professor Saba Soomekh". June 14, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Staff". Retrieved October 30, 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  7. ^ Melamed, Karmel (March 13, 2013). "Young Iranian-Jews discuss taboo topics at UCLA". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Saba Soomekh biography". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ "2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards Results". Independent Publisher Book Awards. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 

External links[edit]