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Canada

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 Finegold stand in front of the synagogue’s original Aron Kodesh, which is still in use in its daily chapel. JANICE ARNOLD PHOTO   It’s the […]

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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 desperate German Jews set sail from Hamburg on the luxury liner, the St. Louis. They had been stripped of all of their possessions by the […]

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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 British, North America, goes back much further. In 1677, Joseph de la Penha, a young Sephardic Jewish merchant, ship owner and financier of privateers from […]

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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 ago, following their exodus from Iraq (with a few stops elsewhere along the way). All three grew up speaking an Iraqi variant of this Jewish-tinged Arabic. […]

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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 Muallim. Although Asad left Iraq illegally in the early 1960s, his family that stayed endured many hardships, including arrests and property seizures due to their […]

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Heritage

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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Iraqi Jews, Al Jazeera and Theft

Iraqi Jews, Al Jazeera and Theft

 by Lyn Julius, author of UPROOTED: How 3,000 years of Jewish Civilisation in the Arab World Vanished Overnight After taking control of Baghdad from Saddam Hussein, US troops discovered what came to be called the Iraqi-Jewish archive in the waterlogged basement of the Iraqi secret police headquarters.  This priceless collection of Jewish books and documents was shipped to the […]

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The Baghdadi Jewish Dish that was Created in Mumbai and Kolkata

The Baghdadi Jewish Dish that was Created in Mumbai and Kolkata

  the taste was sour and sweet, a smooth, compelling aroma filled my mouth and nose, the texture was silky, a depth in it. i’d never tasted a chicken dish like this before. i’d never tasted anything like this before. the first time i had chicken chitannee, i certainly didn’t think of aurangzeb, or the […]

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In Queen Esther’s Time, Persia’s Baghdad Was the Center of the Jewish World

In Queen Esther’s Time, Persia’s Baghdad Was the Center of the Jewish World

by Maria Bywater   Happy Purim! To mark the occasion, I’m posting this piece about the Jews in one of the cities of Queen Esther’s Persian Empire: Baghdad. It’s an excerpt from an article I wrote in 2003 on an exhibit about the Jews of Iraq at London’s Jewish Museum. The exhibit was called “By […]

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Iraqi-Jewish archive triggers ‘traumatic memories’

Iraqi-Jewish archive triggers ‘traumatic memories’

A battle is ongoing over a collection of Iraqi Jewish heirlooms, as few agree on where it should be based. by Dalia Hatuqa     Baltimore, United States – A group of men and women celebrate a young man’s bar mitzvah, the Jewish rite of passage when boys turn 13, as a rabbi wraps “tefillin” […]

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Iraq

Urban Sephardic Culture in the Ottoman Empire

Urban Sephardic Culture in the Ottoman Empire

An overlooked golden age of Jewish culture flowered in the cities of Istanbul, Edirne, Salonica, Izmir, Aleppo, Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo, and Alexandria—where almost no Jews live today The Ottoman state encompassed vast territories in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. At its peak, the Danube was its northern border in Europe, Tunisia its western strongpoint, the […]

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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 last 80 years, Iraq has been depleted of its Jewish community through three significant waves, leaving an estimated 5 remaining Jews as of 2013. Director […]

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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, and memories of the micro-local environment of their day.   James Kadoorib

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The Baghdadi Jews of India

The Baghdadi Jews of India

By Joan G. Roland   The Persian Gulf port of Basra began to serve as a trading center of the British East India Company in 1760, and it was from Basra–and Baghdad–that many Jews who played an important role in English commerce in the region gradually moved on to India. At first they settled in […]

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The Nazi-inspired Pogrom That Triggered Iraqi Jews’ Escape to Israel

The Nazi-inspired Pogrom That Triggered Iraqi Jews’ Escape to Israel

Beit Hatfutsot and Dor Saar-Man Sure the Nazi influence was noxious, but how could such an atrocity have occurred in a country where Jews had lived in peace for centuries?   The most traumatic event in the collective memory of Iraqi Jews took place in the spring of 1941 – the Baghdad pogrom known as […]

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Personal History

Protagonists of ‘Remember Baghdad’ feel Jews have ‘unfinished business’ in Iraq

Protagonists of ‘Remember Baghdad’ feel Jews have ‘unfinished business’ in Iraq

By Eliana Rudee/JNS  When thinking of the words “refugee” and “Middle East,” many displaced groups come to mind. But few know that some of the original refugees of the region were a million Middle Eastern and North African Jews whose history often entails hangings, imprisonment and finding refuge in Israel.  The critically acclaimed documentary “Remember […]

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Remember Baghdad – a film

Remember Baghdad – a film

On the hundredth anniversary of the British invasion in 1917, Remember Baghdad is the untold story of Iraq, an unmissable insight into how the country developed from a completely new perspective – through the eyes of the Jews who lived there for 2,600 years until only a generation ago. With vivid home movies and archive […]

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Rekindling a Heritage of Peaceful Coexistence

Rekindling a Heritage of Peaceful Coexistence

Why the Legacy of One of the Great Jewish Modernizers of Alexandria Bears Remembering   by Joseph Braude* Ask a young Egyptian what “Smouha” means and he will likely tell you it is an excellent football team in Alexandria, lately ranking third in Egypt’s premier league. He may also know that the team takes its […]

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Remembering the last Jews of Iraq

Remembering the last Jews of Iraq

By Joe Shute David Dangoor still keeps what he calls a “mental suitcase”, packed full of memory and longing for a homeland he left more than half a century ago. The 68-year-old father of four who lives in London’s St John’s Wood is one of Iraq’s exiled Jewish population. He fled the country with his […]

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Help Preserve Judaeo-Arabic

Help Preserve Judaeo-Arabic

University of Haifa Mother Tongue Project aimed at preserving pieces of our linguistic heritage. The phenomenon of language death is not unique to the Jewish people. The loss of languages and cultures is a global concern, and many national and international projects worldwide are dedicated to addressing it. However, regarding Jewish languages, most of whose […]

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Israel

Now-dispersed Iraqi Jewish community fights for access to its legacy

Now-dispersed Iraqi Jewish community fights for access to its legacy

‘Why should someone’s diploma and grades be in a museum?’ With a stolen trove of historical documents slated for return to Baghdad, Jews from Iraq demand their personal effects back — with many of their Muslim former neighbors’ support By Reut R. Cohen     In 2003, a group of 16 American soldiers from the […]

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Evidence of Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem unearthed in City of David

Evidence of Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem unearthed in City of David

By Daniel K. Eisenbud “These findings depict the affluence and character of the Judean Kingdom and are mesmerizing proof of the city’s demise at the hands of the Babylonians.” During the excavations, concentrated on the eastern slope of the City of David, structures dating more than 2,600 years ago were unearthed after being delicately extricated from […]

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What should be the Jewish share of the Ottoman Empire?

What should be the Jewish share of the Ottoman Empire?

June 30, 2017, 11:47 pm Judy Weleminsky   What should be the Jewish share of the Ottoman Empire? Does that seem like rather a strange question? Maybe that’s just because it hasn’t been asked before. When the Ottoman Empire crumbled the land was divvied up and new Middle East countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, […]

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Arab Refusal of Culpability for the Middle East Conflict

Arab Refusal of Culpability for the Middle East Conflict

 Accusation: mention of “Israel apartheid” (a standard trope in the anti-Semitic wings of the New Old Now Old Far Out and Lost Left) and “letting the refugees return”. How about ending Arab apartheid and absorbing the Arab refugee generations whose first were abandoned between armies in 1948? http://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300172348/palestine-betrayed http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/enough-said-false-scholarship-edward-said https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/10/03/palestinian-kgb/ Oh, and how about giving […]

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Finding my roots in Tel Aviv

Finding my roots in Tel Aviv

Raised in England by Iraqi Jewish parents, Rachel Shabi ‘blanded out’ her family heritage to fit in with her peers. Years later, she has finally learned to embrace her parents’ values and her own rich cultural mix by Rachel Shabi

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Literature

Readings about the Jews of Baghdad

Readings about the Jews of Baghdad

Alexander, Ari. The Jews of Baghdad and Zionism: 1920 – 1948. Diss. University of Oxford, Magdalen College, 2004 Amir, Eli. The Dove Flyer. London: Halban, 2010. Barr, James. A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle That Shaped the Middle East. London: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Benjamin, Marina. Last Days in Babylon: The […]

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Remembering Iraqi Jewish Refugee Children

Remembering Iraqi Jewish Refugee Children

by Orit Bashkin, Professor of Modern Middle East History at the University of Chicago. Life for Iraqi Jews in Israel was not easy, particularly for the youngest among them. Between 1949 and 1951, some 123,000 Iraqi Jews who were denationalized by the Iraqi state migrated to Israel. These Jews, I suggest, were not native sons […]

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The Death of an Arab Jew

The Death of an Arab Jew

by Orit Bashkin   [ Introduction from the book Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel ] In 1958, ‘Ezra Susu, a sixty-five-year-old disabled goldsmith and father of a disabled child, went into one of the many welfare bureaus in Israel. He drank sodium acid from a bottle, collapsed, and died on his way to the […]

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It’s Easier to Serve Bagels than Baba Ganoush:

It’s Easier to Serve Bagels than Baba Ganoush:

Chelsie May’s M.A. Thesis at Brandeis: Iraqi Jewish Women Articulate an Arab Jewish Subjectivity

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Changes in the Social Status of Urban Jewish Women in Iraq as the Nineteenth Century Turned

Changes in the Social Status of Urban Jewish Women in Iraq as the Nineteenth Century Turned

by: Dr. Shaul Sehayek, Tel-Aviv Translated from the Hebrew by: Dina Ripsman Eylon and Dalia Maishlish   Forward [1] During the nineteenth century Arab countries underwent an awaking process, which included their Jewish populations. This awakening manifested itself in the imitation of western models of education, culture, literature, poetry and theatre, as well as in […]

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More

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 War raging between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The war was triggered by genocidal threats from Cairo and Damascus to annihilate the Jewish state, troop […]

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Nazi Germany and the Farhud in Iraq

Nazi Germany and the Farhud in Iraq

| כ״ב בטבת ה׳תשע״ח (09/01/2018) | 0 Comments

By Dor Saar-Man The most traumatic event in the collective memory of Iraqi Jews — the Farhud — took place during Shavuot 1941. During these violent riots in Baghdad thousands were raped and/or wounded, Jewish shops and synagogues were plundered and destroyed, and a staggering 180 people were brutally murdered. This unprecedented attack on the […]

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The Good Old Days For Jews in Baghdad

The Good Old Days For Jews in Baghdad

| ט״ו בטבת ה׳תשע״ח (02/01/2018) | 0 Comments

excerpt from the film Remember Baghdad

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Victimized Again: The Jews of Arab States and the June 1967 War

Victimized Again: The Jews of Arab States and the June 1967 War

| י׳ בכסלו ה׳תשע״ח (28/11/2017) | 0 Comments

Much has been written about the historical marginalization of the 900,000 Jews expelled from Arab states in the wake of the 1948 War. Few know that the June 1967 War played a similar role in accelerating the final demise of these historic communities. It is high time the international community rectified this longstanding injustice by […]

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US State Department Decision To Return Jewish Artifacts to Iraq is Bad Idea

US State Department Decision To Return Jewish Artifacts to Iraq is Bad Idea

| כ״ד באלול ה׳תשע״ז (15/09/2017) | 0 Comments

The Zionist Organization of America Opposes the Tillerson/State Department Decision to “Return” to Iraq the Jewish Artifacts that Iraq Stole from Iraq’s Dispossessed Jewish Community. The Tillerson State Department’s statement last week that it will “return” to the Iraqi government the thousands of Jewish holy and secular objects, representing thousands of years of Iraqi-Jewish culture, […]

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Iraqi Jews Speaking Up to Preserve Their Heritage

Iraqi Jews Speaking Up to Preserve Their Heritage

| כ״ה באב ה׳תשע״ז (17/08/2017) | 0 Comments

by Fiyaz Mughal Jewish history in Iraq has been documented as far back as 2,500 years to Babylonian Times and few know that Iraqi Jews played a role in the Independence movement of Iraq in the last century. From influencing the development of culture, learning, reading and writing, Iraqi Jews had always been part of […]

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A Rational Jewish Approach to Homosexuality

A Rational Jewish Approach to Homosexuality

| ט״ז בתמוז ה׳תשע״ז (10/07/2017) | 0 Comments

by Shmuley Boteach   [ This posting is not intended to necessarily represent the position or voice of the IJAO nor Beit Eliahou on the matter of homosexuality; it is intended to offer an opportunity to hear another voice in what we hope is a vibrant and meaningful ongoing conversation in all Jewish communities involving our […]

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Jews in Shanghai

Jews in Shanghai

| י׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״ז (04/07/2017) | 0 Comments

by Steve Hochstadt I        Jews in Colonial Shanghai One of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Shanghai in the late 19th and early 20th century was an international banking city and the gun-running capital of Asia, a center for trade in textiles and opium, an open port where law was subordinated to […]

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Books by Rabbi Shelomo Bekhor Hussein

Books by Rabbi Shelomo Bekhor Hussein

| י׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״ז (04/07/2017) | 0 Comments

Books by Rabbi Shelomo Bekhor Hussein Rabbi Hussein was a legal decisor, liturgical poet, journalist, translator, and printing house owner who was one of the outstanding Babylonian rabbis in the second half of the 19th century. He founded his Hebrew press in Baghdad in 1867 and published several works of Iraqi Jewish liturgy and ethical […]

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Haggadah of Rabbi David Hai Einy

Haggadah of Rabbi David Hai Einy

| י׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״ז (04/07/2017) | 0 Comments

Haggadah of Rabbi David Hai Einy – Jerusalem, 1905 This Babylonian-rite Haggadah was published in Hebrew with Arabic and English translations by the ancestor of Ronald Einy, our past synagogue president (2011-2017).  By presenting it in these three languages, the author felt that it would be guaranteed to be understood by all Baghdadi Jews living […]

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Haftara of Tish’a Be’av Shaharit

Haftara of Tish’a Be’av Shaharit

| י׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״ז (04/07/2017) | 0 Comments

Haftara of Tish’a Be’av Shaharit, with translation and commentary in Judeo-Arabic

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Iraqi Haftarot Shemot and Bo

Iraqi Haftarot Shemot and Bo

| י׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״ז (04/07/2017) | 0 Comments

On Parashiyot Shemot and Bo each year, Iraqi Jews read a Haftara that is different from the custom of most of the rest of the Jewish community.  These Haftarot are known so little that they are not even mentioned in most Humashim.  Our custom of passing them out on special sheets has been a tradition […]

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