Tag Archives: communities

B’nai B’rith Archives acquired by American Jewish Archives

The American Jewish Archives has acquired the B’nai B’rith Archives with holdings dating back to 1843, when the organization was founded in New York City. This move will facilitate research by scholars and will shed light to American Jewish history. Beyond its importance though for American Jewry, B’nai B’rith has a long history of international presence, especially in the “Orient” with lodges in Salonica, Istanbul, Izmir, Aleppo, Beirut, Cairo and many other cities in the Balkans, and around the Aegean and Mediterranean basin.

You can read a relevant article here, and watch a video of the American Jewish Archives’ Executive Director, Dr. G. Zola, discussing the importance of this new acquisition.

New book: Tomer Levi, The Jews of Beirut: The Rise of a Levantine Community

Tomer Levi, The Jews of Beirut: The Rise of a Levantine Community, 1860s–1930s, Lang, Peter Publishing, May 30, 2012.

Tomer Levi’s The Jews of Beirut: The Rise of a Levantine Community, 1860s–1930s is the first study to investigate the emergence of an organized and vibrant Jewish community in Beirut in the late Ottoman and French period. The author explores how and why the Jewish community changed during this time in its social cohesion, organizational structure, and ideological affiliations. Tomer Levi defines the Jewish community as a “Levantine” creation of late-nineteenth-century port city revival, characterized by cultural and social diversity, centralized administration, efficient organization, and a merchant class engaged in commerce and philanthropy. In addition, the author shows how the position of the Jewish community in the unique multi-community structure of Lebanese society affected internal developments within the Jewish community.

Commemorating the Jewish community of Arta

This upcoming weekend (March 17 & 18), the City of Arta in western Greece will remember its Jewish community that perished during the Holocaust. The majority of the community was deported on March 24, 1944, and only 58 out of its 500 members survived the camps. In 1959 the community ceased to exist. In 2004, a monument (pictured) was unveiled in the city for the victims. See the relevant press release (in Greek).

Gaziantep synagogue restoration nearing completion

The restoration of the historic synagogue in the city of Gaziantep (Southeast Turkey), initiated in 2010, is nearing completion.

The synagogue that originally could seat 500 people had fallen into a state of dilapidation after the community gradually abandoned Gaziantep in the 1980s.

Read the relevant article and an interview with the city’s mayor (in Turkish) in the Salom newspaper.