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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(1,058 words)

Author(s): Angel Saénz-Badillos
Valencia is an important port on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The city was founded by the Romans in 138 B.C.E. with the Latin name of Valentia.  After the Muslim conquest in 714, it was known in Arabic as Balansiya (some scholars read this form of the name in a

Valensi, Alfred

(258 words)

Author(s): Haim Saadoun
Alfred Valensi, the founder of the first Zionist organization in Tunisia,was born in 1878 in Tunis. He studied law at the University of Montpellier in France, writing his thesis on French divorce law. Influenced while in school by Jeshua Bouchmil, he became a follower of Max Nordau, who worked with Theodor Herzl. After graduating from the university in 1905, Valensi returned to Tunis, where he founded  Agudat Ṣion, the first Zionist organization in Tunisia. He wrote an incisive defense of the Zionist movement in response to the criticisms of the French social reformer …

Valensi, Georges

(805 words)

Author(s): Habib Kazdaghli
Georges Valensi was born in Tunis on May 1, 1908. After obtaining his high school diploma, he went to Paris in 1925 to study medicine. While there he mingled in intellectual circles and married …

Valensi, Maurizio

(731 words)

Author(s): Habib Kazdaghli
Maurizio Valenzi was born in Tunis on November …

Valona (Avlonya, Vlora)

(362 words)

Author(s): Yitzchak Kerem
Valona (Alb. Vlora; Ott. Turk. Avlonya; Heb. Avilona; other renderings include Vlone, Vlore, and Avlona) is an ancient port city in southern Albania. Historical accounts indicate that Jews have been residing in the city since Roman times. Valona was ruled by the Ottomans from 1417 to 1912, except for a brief Venetian occupation in 1690.…

Vambery, Arminius

(536 words)

Author(s): Jacob M. Landau
Born in Bratislava in 1832 as Hermann Vamberger, Arminius Vámbéry, who died in Budapest in 1913, was a Jewish traveler and scholar in Ottoman, Tatar, Iranian, and Central Asian studies. Educated in both Hungarian and German, Vámbéry studied several Turkic languages which he acquired or improved h…

Varlik Vergisi

(13 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Capital Tax Law (Varlik Vergisi, 1942) Norman A. Stillman

Varnalı, Tereza

(74 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Tereza Varnalı is a  Turkish Jewish scientist and academic administrator.  She was born on March 26, 1957 in Istanbul. In 1986 she was awarded a Ph.D. from Bosphorous University. Since 1986 she has been a member of the Chemistry Department of Bosphorous University, specializing in organic chemistry, computational chemistry, and molecular modeling. In 1998 she was promoted to the rank of full professor. Rifat Bali Bibliography Curriculum vitae on Boğaziçi University website:  www.chem.boun.edu.tr/personal/t…

Varon, Ishak (Isak)

(296 words)

Author(s): Pamela Dorn Sezgin
Born in Gallipoli in 1884, Ishak Varon (1884–1962) moved to Salonica with his family and studied law. He became a clerk, first in Kavala, and later in the office of a prominent lawyer in Salonica, then relocated to Istanbul when his patron, Refik Bey, moved there. Upon Refik Bey’s death, Varon returned to Salonica, where he managed a succession of record companies: Pathé, Polydor, and the Ottoman affiliate of His Master’s Voice . He later returned to Istanbul to work in the insurance industry. His business activities supported his true passion, Turkish classical music and the Jewish mafṭiri…


(1,134 words)

Author(s): Hadas Hirsch
The concept of women’s wearing a veil has taken on one or another of three conceptually hierarchal forms in different cultures: covering the head, covering both the head and the face, and covering the entire body. Various styles of female veiling have been practiced since antiquity in patriarchal-patrilineal societies such as Assyria, Israel, Greece, and pre-Islamic Arabia, mainly as a means of exe…


(661 words)

Author(s): Evelyn Dean-Olmsted
Sephardi/Mizraḥi Jews make up roughly 40 percent of Venezuela’s Jewish population of about 15,400 and boast a long and important role in the history of the nation. As Jacob Carciente has described, Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch Sephardim were the three streams that initially shaped Venezuelan Jewish life. After a few short-lived settlements of Italian and Portuguese Jews before the eighteenth century, favorable economic conditions and nearby Dutch-controlled islands enticed many…

Ventura, Michon (Moïses)

(338 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Mişon (Moïses) Ventura was a Turkish legal scholar, lawyer, and community leader. Born in 1881 in Hasköy, a neighborhood of Istanbul with a great concentration of Jewish residents, Ventura graduated from the law school of Istanbul University in January 1905. After practicing for a time as a member of the Trade Court in Salonica and teaching in the Salonica law school,he was selected to go to Paris to continue his law studies. He graduated from the law school of the Paris Academy in 1912. Ventura registered with the Istanbul Bar Association in 19…