IJAO

(Iraqi Jewish Association of Ontario)

Providing services and meeting the social and religious needs of the Jewish community of Babylonian descent.

Iraq

From Iraq to exodus: the flight of a country’s Jewish community

From Iraq to exodus: the flight of a country’s Jewish community

by Holly Johnston ERBIL, Kurdistan Region —  Bertha Bekhor was 15 years old when a man knocked frantically at the door of her Baghdad home, on a warm June evening […]

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Don’t forget the Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands

Don’t forget the Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands

by Jonathan S. Tobin Palestinians and their supporters not only erase the Jewish history of the land of Israel, but also of the Jews of Arab lands who lost their […]

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New initiative seeks to remember ‘forgotten’ Jewish refugees from the Middle East

New initiative seeks to remember ‘forgotten’ Jewish refugees from the Middle East

by Israel Kasnett More than that, an effort is underway to recognize centuries of contributions of Jews in the Middle East and North Africa, and to foster relations for the […]

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Iraqi Judaism lives on in literary form

Iraqi Judaism lives on in literary form

by Joseph Croitoru Translated from the German by Nina Coon Interest in the Iraqi-Jewish cultural heritage is growing – both in Israel and Iraq. Novels in which emigrants and their […]

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Iraqi Jew Creates New Life for Herself in America

Iraqi Jew Creates New Life for Herself in America

by Ben Sales When arguing with her first grade teacher about the Arab-Israeli conflict, Ceen Gabbai didn’t realize she was taking a huge risk. It was around September of 2000, and […]

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Here’s what it’s like to grow up as a Jew in Iraq

Here’s what it’s like to grow up as a Jew in Iraq

By Ben Sales NEW YORK (JTA) — When Ceen Gabbai argued with her first-grade teacher about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, she didn’t realize how big of a risk she was taking. […]

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Heritage

Understanding the Indian Baghdadi Jews

Understanding the Indian Baghdadi Jews

The Jewish Museum tells the history of British Jews while also celebrating the larger Jewish community.  One such community is the Baghdadi Jewish community of India. Originally from Iraq and […]

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Army troops play key role in preserving Iraqi Jewish heritage

Army troops play key role in preserving Iraqi Jewish heritage

By Steve DeVaneAirborne & Special Operations Museum exhibit is on display through Sept. 22. An exhibit of material related to the Jewish community in Iraq shows the important role Army […]

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Lost history: understanding the unseen story of Iraqi Jews

Lost history: understanding the unseen story of Iraqi Jews

Hannah Harn learns about the history of the Jews of Iraq As of 2016, Ireland was home to fewer than 3,000 Jews. “In the region of Munster, we have about 95 […]

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What Do You Know? Iraq’s Jewish History

What Do You Know? Iraq’s Jewish History

March 25, 2019 In the series What Do You Know?, we feature scholars’ answers to questions about Jewish history and culture submitted by our readers. Q: An anonymous reader asks: Are there any […]

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Young Iraqis re-encounter their Jewish compatriots

Young Iraqis re-encounter their Jewish compatriots

by Gilgamesh Nabeel After seven decades of alienation, Iraqi Jews use culture to build bridges with their non-Jewish countrymen and vice versa.  Through Baghdadi folk songs and lullabies, British-born musician Carol […]

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Back to the roots: Iraqi Jews want their citizenship reinstated

Back to the roots: Iraqi Jews want their citizenship reinstated

Youngsters sit in their classroom in Baghdad’s Jewish Frank Iny School, one of three Jewish school in the Iraqi capital, Feb. 6, 1969. (AP) Staff writer, Al Arabiya English Monday, […]

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Baghdad

From Baghdad To Kokomo

From Baghdad To Kokomo

Memoir Of A Young Man’s Odyssey To America by Albert Kudsizadeh A compelling account of growing up during the mid-twentieth century in the two oldest and once vibrant Jewish communities […]

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City of London service is a tearful reminder of Iraqi massacre

City of London service is a tearful reminder of Iraqi massacre

Bevis Marks commemorates 50th anniversary of killing of Baghdad Jews As a spectacle in barbarity, it was hard to match, even by modern Middle East standards. On January 27 1969, […]

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Ceremony Marks 50th Anniversary of Notorious Hanging of Baghdad Jews

Ceremony Marks 50th Anniversary of Notorious Hanging of Baghdad Jews

by Benjamin Kerstein Iraqi Jews arriving at Lod Airport in Israel in 1951. Photo: Israel Government Press Office. The 50th anniversary of the public hanging of nine Iraqi Jews and […]

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Iraq Still Honors This Jewish Star Known as the ‘Voice of Baghdad’

Iraq Still Honors This Jewish Star Known as the ‘Voice of Baghdad’

by: Eness Elias Salima Mourad, a singer who rose to fame in the early 1900s in Iraq – but remained there unlike many Jewish musicians – still strikes a chord […]

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In Exile, Iraqi Jews Are Desperate To Reclaim Their Artifacts

In Exile, Iraqi Jews Are Desperate To Reclaim Their Artifacts

by Talia Zax Shortly after the Iraqi Jewish Archive was found, Doris Hamburg, then director of preservation programs at the National Archives, and Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, then the National Archives’ […]

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The Last Relics Of Iraq’s Jewish Past Are In America. Should They Be Returned?

The Last Relics Of Iraq’s Jewish Past Are In America. Should They Be Returned?

by Talya Zax On a leafy parkway in the Jamaica section of Queens, there is a house that is no longer a house. It’s one of New York’s two Iraqi […]

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Personal History

From Baghdad to Boston and Beyond”: A Memoir of an Iraqi Jew

From Baghdad to Boston and Beyond”: A Memoir of an Iraqi Jew

“From Baghdad to Boston and Beyond”: A Memoir of an Iraqi Jew”. Amy Dane co-author of Dr. Jacob Shammash’s story of emigration from Baghdad in 1947, after the Farhud and […]

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The Jew Who Helped Defeat Iraq’s pro-Nazi Regime

The Jew Who Helped Defeat Iraq’s pro-Nazi Regime

by Ofer Aderet Yoav Byron Kattan, who passed away last week, founded a Zionist underground in Iraq and served as a judge in Israel Yoav Byron Kattan, a retired judge […]

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‘I’ve been sentenced to death’ – a farewell letter of an Iraqi Jew in 1969

‘I’ve been sentenced to death’ – a farewell letter of an Iraqi Jew in 1969

By Zack Evans, Cassandra Gomes-Hochberg Sami Halali and his family were able to flee Iraq to Israel in 1971. Sami explained that the family hid the letter in their house […]

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The Discovery and Rescue of Iraqi Jews’ Patrimony in Baghdad. Will It Now Be Lost?

The Discovery and Rescue of Iraqi Jews’ Patrimony in Baghdad. Will It Now Be Lost?



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Remember Baghdad coming to TJFF

Remember Baghdad coming to TJFF

REMEMBER BAGHDAD (feature) The attitude used to be “Jews, Muslims, Christians, we were all Iraqis.” For over 2500 years, Jews were an integral community in modern Iraq. However, over the […]

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Tea with Iraqi Jews

Tea with Iraqi Jews

  Sol Basha A story-telling session over Iraqi tea with members of the last community of Jews to have lived in Baghdad peacefully. Descriptions of domestic spaces, accounts of escape, […]

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Israel

Iraqi Singer, Ismail Fadel to Majalla: “I am convinced  that music is a way to bring communities together and push towards  peace.”

Iraqi Singer, Ismail Fadel to Majalla: “I am convinced that music is a way to bring communities together and push towards peace.”

By Amal Shehata The Iraqi community in Israel cares deeply for it heritage and many of its members organise Arabic concerts on a regular basis. When an Iraqi singing voice […]

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Ending the Humiliation (Vic Rosenthal)

Ending the Humiliation (Vic Rosenthal)

 by Vic Rosenthal When the muhtasib or his agent comes to collect the jizya, he should stand the dhimmi in front of him, slap him on the side of the […]

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Former Miss Iraq: Arab-Israeli conflict ‘deeply rooted’ in anti-Semitism

Former Miss Iraq: Arab-Israeli conflict ‘deeply rooted’ in anti-Semitism

At UN Human Rights Council, Sarah Idan calls out Iraqi government for not backing her after she got death threats for joint photo with Miss Israel By TOI staff A […]

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Israel said set to seek $250b compensation for Jews forced out of Arab countries

Israel said set to seek $250b compensation for Jews forced out of Arab countries

‘Time has come to correct historic injustice,’ minister says After 18 months of research, first claims being finalized for reported $35b from Tunisia, $15b from Libya, for assets Jews left […]

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Why Have Transit Camps for Mizrahi Jews Been Written Out of Israeli History?

Why Have Transit Camps for Mizrahi Jews Been Written Out of Israeli History?

In 1951, a quarter of a million people were living in what was known as ma’abarot, 80 percent of them from Islamic lands. Most of the camps were dismantled by […]

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How Iraqi Jews are Reclaiming their Cultural Legacy in Israel

How Iraqi Jews are Reclaiming their Cultural Legacy in Israel

  By Pablo Jairo Tutillo Maldonado Last December, after Shabbat ended, I was walking near the Machane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s famous open-air market, when I saw people celebrating the beginning of […]

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Canada

COVID-19 Protocols

COVID-19 Protocols

After receiving direction from public health authorities and in accord with the Sephardic Kehilah Centre’s practice, we have restarted weekly Shabbat services.Efforts will be made to ensure we do not […]

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Canada’s oldest Jewish congregation celebrates 250 years

Canada’s oldest Jewish congregation celebrates 250 years

By Janice Arnold, Staff Reporter     From left, Rose Simon Schwartz, the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue’s co-ordinator of its 250th anniversary celebrations, shul president Edmond Elbaz and Rabbi Avi […]

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Canadian Jewry in the era of ‘none is too many’

Canadian Jewry in the era of ‘none is too many’

By Irving Abella         [In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, The CJN presents essays on 10 significant moments in Canadian Jewish history.] On May 15, 1939, 907 […]

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The first Jews in Canada

The first Jews in Canada

By Allan Leviner     When Canada first became a country, 150 years ago, there were slightly less than 1,200 Jews living here. But Jewish settlement in French, and then […]

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Arabic has a Jewish dialect, and these women speak it

Arabic has a Jewish dialect, and these women speak it

Public Radio International tells us the unlikely story of the near-death and cultural revival of Judeo-Arabic.      Alina Simone tracked down three Judeo-Arabic speakers in Montreal. They arrived there decades […]

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Leaving Iraq

Leaving Iraq

interview with Asad Muallim A plane filled with Iraqi Jews photographed on arrival at Lod Airport in early 1951 (Credit: Teddy Brauner/GPO) B’nai Brith Canada spoke with our member, Asad […]

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More

The Tragic Demise of Iraqi Jewry

The Tragic Demise of Iraqi Jewry

| ח׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״ט (11/07/2019) | 0 Comments

by Alyssa Dwek Until the 1950s, Iraq was home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, with a proud history spanning over 2,600 years. Today, fewer than […]

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Jewish heritage survived ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq

Jewish heritage survived ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq

| כ״ח באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״ט (04/04/2019) | 0 Comments

Mosul’s Jewish quarter miraculously survived three years of occupation by the “Islamic State” terror group and the battle to evict it. Reporter Judit Neurink and photographer Eddy van Wessel went […]

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Remembering Purim in Iraq; a Paradise of Parties and Pastries

Remembering Purim in Iraq; a Paradise of Parties and Pastries

| א׳ באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״ט (08/03/2019) | 0 Comments

Like visions of date palms laden with fruit, Purim in Iraq was paradise for children. “We were excused from school and over the two-day holiday, we’d attend six parties,” says […]

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Zangula with Lemon Syrup

Zangula with Lemon Syrup

| א׳ באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״ט (08/03/2019) | 0 Comments

Ingredients For the syrup: 2 to 3 lemons 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) water 1 cup (200 grams) sugar For the dough and for frying: 1 1/8 teaspoons (1/2 package) active […]

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A Group of Young Iraqis Risk Imprisonment to Reconnect With Their Country’s Jewish Past

A Group of Young Iraqis Risk Imprisonment to Reconnect With Their Country’s Jewish Past

| י״ד בתשרי ה׳תשע״ט (23/09/2018) | 0 Comments

by: Eetta Prince-Gibson Seven decades after the mass Jewish exodus from Iraq, a group of intrepid Iraqis and Israelis are holding clandestine meetings and talks in a bid to rekindle […]

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Iraqis want their Jewish neighbors back

Iraqis want their Jewish neighbors back

| י״ט באלול ה׳תשע״ח (30/08/2018) | 0 Comments

Months after a Shiite cleric who won the parliamentary elections in Iraq said Jews “are welcome,” an online poll on the matter suggests that Iraqis are ready to discuss the right of […]

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The Iraqi Jewish Archive Could Reshape Foreign Policy. But Its Future Is Uncertain

The Iraqi Jewish Archive Could Reshape Foreign Policy. But Its Future Is Uncertain

| י׳ באב ה׳תשע״ח (22/07/2018) | 0 Comments

by: Talya Zax   Iraqi Jews are sure the Iraqi Jewish Archive belongs to them, and they’re determined to get it back. Meanwhile, Iraq is holding firm to the claim […]

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The Iraqi Jewish Archive is stolen property that should go back to its original owners

The Iraqi Jewish Archive is stolen property that should go back to its original owners

| י׳ באב ה׳תשע״ח (22/07/2018) | 0 Comments

By Carole Basri and David Dangoor, In the preamble to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, it says that “damage […]

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Is the Lost Language of Iraqi Jews Really Lost?

Is the Lost Language of Iraqi Jews Really Lost?

| י׳ באב ה׳תשע״ח (22/07/2018) | 0 Comments

By Mardean Isaac On the anniversary of the Farhud of 1941, when Iraqi Jews’ violent dispossession began, a look at how the Baghdadi diaspora’s eventual return to Israel fostered scholarly […]

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With Jews largely gone from Iraq, memories survive in Israel

With Jews largely gone from Iraq, memories survive in Israel

| י׳ באב ה׳תשע״ח (22/07/2018) | 0 Comments

  By Maher Chmaytelli, Jeffrey Heller and Stephen Farrell   BAGHDAD/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Behind the high concrete walls of Baghdad’s Jewish cemetery, Violette Saul lies at rest under a weathered […]

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A Tragic Anniversary: The End of Jewish Life in Libya

A Tragic Anniversary: The End of Jewish Life in Libya

| כ״ה בסיון ה׳תשע״ח (08/06/2018) | 0 Comments

 by David Harris   A classroom in a Benghazi synagogue before World War II. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Fifty-one years ago this month, the world was transfixed by the Six Day […]

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Iraq-born refugee could become first Arabic speaker to head Britain’s Jews

Iraq-born refugee could become first Arabic speaker to head Britain’s Jews

| כ״ב באייר ה׳תשע״ח (07/05/2018) | 0 Comments

Baghdad-born candidate standing for presidency of UK’s most powerful Jewish group says more diverse representation is needed The most influential organisation representing British Jews could soon have its first leader […]

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