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Lecture: Aramaic and Iraqi Jews

17/11/2019 @ 10:00 12:00

Dr Maoz

Light Breakfast and Lecture.

Featuring: Dr. Jacob Maoz, Schechter Institute in Jerusalem

The Ezra and Nechemia immigration campaign of the 1950-1951 winter marked the peak of Aramaic speaking immigration to Israel. Some 100,000 Jews who had been living in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria brought a forgotten Jewish culture dating back thousands of years to Israel. Its crowning glory was the spoken Aramaic language. Nearly half a million of their descendants now live in Israel, and fifty to one hundred thousand of them speak the language. The large majority of the world’s Jewish Diaspora, both in the west and the east, had yet to hear how one of the two founding languages of the Jewish people is spoken. Jewish society in Israel at the time was engrossed in defining the new Zionist ethos and displayed little interest in conserving and fostering the rich Jewish traditions that
came from the Diaspora. The Aramaic language, one of the more significant cultural treasures of the Jewish people and of humanity in general, was neglected and forgotten, and currently faces the danger of disappearing into extinction.

Ever since their arrival to the Land of Israel, these Jews were labeled by the Israeli state as “Kurds” and reconciled themselves to this misnomer. Kurds have a different nationality, language and religion than the Aramaic-speaking immigrants. The culture closest to the Jewish culture is the Assyrian one. The ancient Assyrian nation has a history, religion and culture greatly similar to Judaism. They speak the Aramaic – Assyrian language in a manner very similar to that of the Jews from Assyria.
They are great believers in the Eternal Kingdom of Israel and enthusiastic supporters of the State of Israel. Collaboration between the world’s Assyrian communities and Israel as a state and society appears essential. As of this writing, wonderful contacts are being maintained with communities in Australia, Sweden, Iraq, Canada and the U.S.A. that point to a better future for both nations.


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Beit Eliahou

7026 Bathurst St
Thornhill, Ontario L4J 8K3 Canada
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