Monday Jun 16, 2014
Jacques Guy Benhamou is the eldest of three sons born to an Algerian Jewish family. His Hebrew name is Yaakov, as it was traditional for the eldest son to carry his grandfather’s name. Jacques’s forebears lived in Debdou, Morocco, a small town on the road from Timbuktu to the Mediterranean. There were 12 large Jewish families in Debdou, and each family group had its own synagogue. The Benhamou family of Debdou...
Thursday Jan 23, 2014
Claude Rouas was born in Algeria in 1933. Orphaned at a young age after both of his parents died of cancer, Claude was raised by extended family including his uncle “Papa Isaac”, and his brother, who was the eldest of 5 siblings. Growing up in poverty and without parents, Claude learned the art of hard work early on. His childhood jobs included selling movie tickets, pedaling goods on the street, tailoring and working as a pastry...
Monday Sep 16, 2013
by Linda Menuhin
More than 40 years have passed since I fled Iraq, yet Iraq has never left me. Time and again I earnestly tried to bury my past, without much success. This year on Yom Kippur I honored my father's memory with a sense of fulfillment.
On the eve of Yom Kippur in 1972 my father, a distinguished lawyer in Iraq, disappeared. He was the first Jewish person to disappear during the Ba’athist regime’s years in...
Tuesday Sep 03, 2013
My name is Sasson Azoory and I left Baghdad, Iraq in 1959 to study in the United Kingdom. When I left, Iraqi General Abd al-Karim Qasim was in the midst of his three-year rein. During this small window of time Iraqi Jews were granted freedom of movement and I am one of the few Jews who was able to leave the country using my Iraqi passport.
A couple of years after my departure, General Qasim was assassinated, ushering in a very dark period...
Wednesday Aug 14, 2013
Aaron Zangi was raised the oldest of three brothers in the Iraqi city of Basra. Many of his ancestors originally hailed from Iran; “Zangi” translates to ‘ringing’ in Farsi. Aaron’s father was a well-respected textile businessman who built their home in 1936 in a Muslim Arab neighborhood. Following the Farhud, an anti-Jewish Iraqi pogrom in 1941, the flourishing Jewish community of Basra transferred to Ashar...