JWR

Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

By The Rivers of Babylon; What Happened to the Jews of Iraq

By Richard. Z. Chesnoff


Abraham Sofer, gabbai (caretaker) Baghdad's last synagoguie 1989




JewishWorldReview.com | A powerful new documentary is being screened this week at the Center for Jewish History on Manhattan's West 16th street: "The Last Jews Of Bagdad; End Of An Exile, Beginning Of A Journey" produced by Carole Basri, an energetic American filmmaker of Iraqi descent, together with Adriana Davis and Bryan Durr.

It's a fitting time for this co-production to be shown. 2014 marks the 2600th anniversary of the destruction of Jerusalem's First Temple by the Babylonian Emperor Nebuchadnezzar - and the beginning of the enslavement and forced exile of the Jews into what would become the longest diaspora of the people of Israel from the Land of Israel.

Yet despite their sad longing for home ("By the Rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept when we remembered Zion..." ) - the exiled Jews soon flourished. Their scholars produced the Babylonian Talmud, one of the central texts of Rabbinic Judaism.

And despite bouts of persecution, the Jews of Babylonia - today's Iraq - soon became leading figures of science, medicine and arts, of finance and of commerce.

By the 19th century, synagogues, schools and rabbinical academies dotted the land. By the turn of the 20th century, Jews comprised more than 25% of the population of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

Some became advisers to Iraq's kings and then presidents. One - Yehezkel Sasson - was considered "The Father of Iraq's Parliament " and even served as royal Finance Minister.

Then, at mid 20th century, it all ended. With Iraq's tyrannical military governments spouting virulent anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, Iraq's Jews found themselves facing a mounting flood of discriminatory laws, restrictive policies, even pogroms and public hangings. Soon, most of Iraq's Jews began searching for ways to flee. Between 1949 and 1968 more than 150,000 Iraqi Jews left their land of birth for shelter elsewhere.

Most went to Israel; some to Europe and America. The price of leaving was stiff: In exchange for a government exit visa,: Iraq's Jews had to formally renounce their citizenship, promise never to return, and most important of all - leave behind all of their property and money. Most arrived in their new homes penniless.

When I first visited Iraq as a correspondent in 1989 - the year before the First Gulf War, barely 400 Jews remained in Baghdad. Only one synagogue - The Meir Toueg - remained open and Abraham Sofer, its aged gabbaii (sexton) said few dared even come for Sabbath prayers,

Worse yet, whispered Sofer, the vicious regime of Saddam Hussein had stolen historic communal documents and even the only Hebrew printing press left in Iraq. New prayer books had to be written by hand and children were forbidden from learning Hebrew.

In 2003, when film maker Carole Basri and her colleagues arrived in Bahdad, even this last synagogue was closed and the once proud Iraqi Jewish community numbered just seven people - almost all of whom hid the fact that they were Jews in order to remain safe from the violence of post-Saddam Iraq.


STIMULATION AND INSPIRATION

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes "must-reading". Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


This moving film asks the question, "Why did the Iraqi Jews leave?" The answer, of course, is found in the discriminatory policies enacted by Iraq's government against these formerly important members of Iraqi society who even today still consider themselves "Iraqi Jews".

As Basri explains: " 'The Last Jews of Baghdad" offers personal recollections from members of this exiled group, contextualizing the country's complicated political history.

Through the words of those who survived discrimination, persecution and even hangings, we have painted a picture of what it meant to be a Jew in Iraq - from joyous picnics on the banks of the Tigris to the unbearable terror of life under Saddam Hussein that came to define their lives."

Tuesday, May 13th, 6:30 PM
The Last Jews if Baghdad

Reservations REQUIRED: 212.294.8350 x5, or info@americansephardifederation.org SUGGESTED DONATION: $10 at the door American Sephardi Federation at the Center for Jewish History 15 West 16th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues), NY For a fascinating exhibit of stolen Iraqi Jewish documents found by the US Army in the flooded basement of Saddam Hussein's Baghdad headquarters and brought to America for preservation and restoration, go to:

The Museum of Jewish Heritage 36 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10280 (646) 437-4202

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.









© 2014, Richard Z. Chesnoff

Quantcast