The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times

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Reeva S. Simon, Michael M. Laskier, Sara Reguer
Columbia University Press, 2003 - History - 549 pages
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Despite considerable research on the Jewish diaspora in the Middle East and North Africa since 1800, there has until now been no comprehensive synthesis that illuminates both the differences and commonalities in Jewish experience across a range of countries and cultures. This lacuna in both Jewish and Middle Eastern studies is due partly to the fact that in general histories of the region, Jews have been omitted from the standard narrative. As part of the religious and ethnic mosaic that was traditional Islamic society, Jews were but one among numerous minorities and so have lacked a systematic treatment.

Addressing this important oversight, this volume documents the variety and diversity of Jewish life in the region over the last two hundred years. It explains the changes that affected the communities under Islamic rule during its "golden age" and describes the processes of modernization that enabled the Jews to play a pivotal role in their respective countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The first half of the book is thematic, covering topics ranging from languages to economic life and from religion and music to the world of women. The second half is a country-by-country survey that covers Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, the Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

  

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Contents

History of the Jews in the Middle East and North Africa from the Rise of Islam Until 1700
5
Europe in the Middle East
21
Economic Life
31
Community Leadership and Structure
51
Religion Rabbinic Tradition and the Response to Modernity
67
Intellectual Life
87
Jewish Languages Enter the Modern Era
115
Education
144
The Ottoman Balkans
294
Turkey
305
Syria and Lebanon
318
Eretz IsraelPalestine 18001948
337
Iraq
349
Iran and Afghanistan
369
Yemen
391
Egypt and the Sudan
411

Zionism
167
Beliefs and Customs
182
Material Culture
207
Music
226
The World or Women
237
COUNTRYBYCOUNTRY SURVEY
277
Ottoman Turkey
279
Libya
433
Tunisia
446
Algeria
460
Morocco
473
Appendix
507
Index
531
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Reeva Spector Simon is associate director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University and author of Iraq Between the Two World Wars. Michael Menachem Laskier teaches at the newly created Department of Middle East History at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and is the author of eight books, including Israel and the Arab World: Israeli-Maghrebi Common Interests,Encounters, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (forthcoming). Sara Reguer is chair of Judaic studies at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

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