Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

Purchase Access
Subject: Jewish Studies

Executive Editor: Norman A. Stillman

The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online (EJIW) is the first cohesive and discreet reference work which covers the Jews of Muslim lands particularly in the late medieval, early modern and modern periods. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online is updated with newly commissioned articles, illustrations, multimedia, and primary source material. 

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Jewish Literary Society (Baghdad)

(284 words)

Author(s): Reuven Snir
The  Jewish Literary Society in Baghdad (Ar. Jam‘iyya Adabiyya Isrā’īliyya), Iraq’s first Zionist organization, was founded on July 15, 1920. In the guise of a literary society, its mission was to promote the teaching of the Hebrew language and Jewish studies. The president of the new society, Salmān Reuven Ḥayya (1898?–1920), was a police officer; its secretary was Salmān Shīna (1898–1978). In August 1920, the society opened a library and club where lectures could be held. On November 19, 1920, it published the first issue of the literary weekly Yeshurun, half in Hebrew and half in…

Jewish Malayalam

(2,415 words)

Author(s): Ophira Gamliel
1. Historical Background   Malayalam is a Dravidian language currently spoken in the state of Kerala on the western coast of South India. The earliest records of Malayalam are inscriptions dated to the ninth century C.E. Malayalam literature began in the thirteenth century, with close affinities to two major classical Indian traditions, Sanskrit and Tamil, each of which influenced, albeit in different ways, the spoken language and the classical and regional literatures of the Hindu castes that form the majority of the population in Kerala. The western coast of South India was al…

Jewish Neo-Aramaic

(3,493 words)

Author(s): Hezy Mutzafi
The Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects, originally spoken in Kurdistan and Iranian Azerbaijan and now mostly in Israel, are all on the verge of extinction. Three major dialect groups of Jewish Neo-Aramaic, and a further threefold subdivision of one of these groups, can readily be discerned on the basis of the distinct innovations that have shaped the linguistic profile of each of these dialectal divisions.  1. Historical and sociolinguistic details Jewish Neo-Aramaic (JNA) is a general term for a wide array of dozens of regional varieties of North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic (…

Jewish Quarters (Ḥāra, Mallāḥ, Maḥalla, Qāʿat al-Yahūd)

(1,670 words)

Author(s): Emily Gottreich
The self-segregation of Jewish communities in concentrated neighborhoods or quarters predated the rise of Islam and continued as an urban norm in most Middle Eastern and North African cities until the twentieth century, when traditional residential patterns, having been disrupted by colonial intervention, were brought to a definitive end with the departure of most Jews from the region. Jewish quarters have been identified in cities throughout the Middle East and North Africa, from the Maghreb to…
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