Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Executive Editor: Norman A. Stillman

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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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Bābāī ben Farhād

(573 words)

Author(s): Vera B. Moreen
Bābāī b. Farhād is the author of Kitāb-i Sar-Guzasht-i Kāshān dar bāb-i ʿIbrī va Goyimi-yi Sānī (The Book of Events in Kashan Concerning the Jews; Their Second Conversion), the second Judeo-Persian chronicle in verse known thus far. It covers selected events between 1721 and 1731 during the reigns of the Ṣafavid shahs (see Iran/Persia) Sultan Ḥusayn (1694-1722) and Ṭahmāsp II (1722-1731). Bābāī b. Farhād acknowledges that his inspiration to record mostly contemporary events, some of which he witnessed, came from Kitāb-i A nusī (The Book of a Forced Convert), the first …

Bābāī ben Luṭf

(676 words)

Author(s): Vera B. Moreen
Bābāī b. Luṭf, the author of Kitāb-i A nusī (The Book of a Forced Convert), the earliest known Judeo-Persian chronicle, lived in Kashan and was probably a native of that town. Most of what we know about him comes from his sketchy introduction to the chronicle. Clearly an educated man, Bābāī b. Luṭf believed that the major persecutions he witnessed, beginning in 1656 and ending in 1662, during the reign of the Ṣafavid Shah ʿAbbās II (1642-1666), constituted but another chapter in the long history of persecutions endured by the Jewish people. He therefore called his work a megillah (Heb. scrol…

Bābāʾī ben Nūrīʾel

(284 words)

Author(s): Vera B. Moreen
Bābāʾī ben Nūrīʾel, a rabbi from Isfahan, translated the Pentateuch and the Book of Psalms into Persian between 1740 and 1741 for Nādir Shah (r. 1736–1746). The shah’s religious convictions, which vacillated between the Shīʿī and Sunni versions of Islam, continue to be the subject of scholarly debate. His curiosity about religions induced him to commission Persian translations of the Gospels and the Qur’ān in addition to the Pentateuch and Psalms. The translators of the Gospels (three European and five Armenian pries…

Babovitch, Tuvia

(5 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see KaraismNorman A. Stillman

Bacri, David Cohen

(444 words)

Author(s): Richard Ayoun
David Cohen Bacri (1770–1811) was an influential Algerian merchant who played a significant role in the relationship between the Regency of Algiers and France at the turn of the nineteenth century. He was the son of Joseph Cohen Bacri, who founded, with his three brothers, the Salomon Cohen Bacri and Brothers trading company in 1782. The firm became much larger and changed its name to Bacri and Busnach in 1797, when Naphtali ben Moïse Busnach became a partner. That same year, David married Naphtali’s sister Aziza, further solidifying the already close relationship …

Bacri, Jacob Cohen

(397 words)

Author(s): Richard Ayoun
Jacob Cohen Bacri (1763–1836), a businessman from Algiers, was a partner in Salmon Cohen Bacri and Brothers, a family firm established in 1782 (renamed Bacri and Busnach in 1797). After a short stay in Livorno (Leghorn) from 1785 to 1789, Jacob was sent to Marseilles by his older brother Joseph Cohen Bacri, and there he was in charge of the firm’s dealings with Genoa and the Levant. Jacob had a very close relationship with Dey Ḥasan, acting as his agent, and doing business and traveling under his protection. Acting both for the company and the dey, Jacob Bacri loaned the French government 10…

Bacri, Jean-Pierre

(426 words)

Author(s): Dinah Assouline Stillman
Jean-Pierre Bacriwas born in Castiglione (now Bou Ismail), Algeria, on May 24, 1951. His passion for cinema started early in childhood; his father worked in a movie theater on weekends. His family immigrated to Cannes, France, in 1962. He studied Latin and French literature at the university, intending to become a teacher of French literature and classics, but eventually left for Paris to write instead, while taking acting classes at the famous Cours Simon. Bacri wrote several plays, and received the 1979 Prize from the Fondation de la Vocation for Le doux visage de l’amour (Love’s Sweet …

Bacri, Joseph Cohen

(440 words)

Author(s): Richard Ayoun
Joseph Cohen Bacri (1740–1817), one of the five sons of Michel Cohen Bacri, was a merchant-banker and the muqaddam (government-appointed president) of the Jewish community of Algiers from 1811 to 1816. Along with three of his brothers, Jacob  Bacri, Mardochée, and Salomon, he founded a trading company named Salomon Cohen Bacri and Brothers in 1782 . The company was spearheaded by Joseph in Algiers and Salomon in Livorno (Leghorn). The Algiers branch shipped raw materials (feathers, wax, coral, leather, wool) as well as great quantities of gold and silver to …

Bacri, Roland

(405 words)

Author(s): Dinah Assouline Stillman
Roland Bacri, one of France’s leading political satirists, was born on April 1, 1926 in the Bab-El-Oued quarter of Algiers. At the age of thirty, after having contributed to the Canard Sauvage in Algiers for several years, he was invited to Paris to join the staff of  Le Canard enchaîné, a weekly satirical magazine devoted to politics. He worked there for almost forty years, often using the pseudonyms Roro de Bab-El-Oued and Le petit poète. A prolific writer, Bacri published many books and wrote poetry abounding with puns and calembours (wordplays) on political or cultural topics of…


(354 words)

Author(s): Arturo Prats
The city of Badajoz is situated in western Spain near the Portuguese border. The name Badajoz is well documented in Arabic sources as Baṭalyūs and Baṭalyaws ,  probably an arabization of an earlier Latin name. According to the historiographer Ibn Saʿīd al-Maghribī (1286), quoting Ibn Ḥayyān (d. 1076) in his Kitāb a l-Mughrib fī Ḥulā al-Maghrib, the city was refounded by ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Marwān al-Jilīqī during the emirate of ʿAbd Allāh (r. 888-912). It became a breakaway region from Umayyad central authority and was only taken back by Caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III in 930.In the taifa (party …


(4,295 words)

Author(s): Yaron Ayalon | Ariel I. Ahram
1. MedievalBaghdad was founded by the caliph al-Manṣūr (r. 754–775) as the new capital of the Abbasid state and served as the seat of the caliphs till the Mongol conquest in 1258. Jews apparently settled in Baghdad from the very beginning, most of them arriving at first from neighboring towns in Iraq, and later from distant lands as well. At some point in the eighth century, Baghdad became the largest Jewish center in Iraq. Although most of the Jews in Baghdad were concentrated in the Dār al-Yāhūd quarter, many, especially merchants and tradesmen, lived elsewhere. Al-Karkh, a co…

Bahaism, Conversion to

(613 words)

Author(s): Moshe Sharon
The Bahā’ī faith appeared in Iran in 1844 from within the fold of Shīʽite Islam and amid mounting messianic expectations. Iranian Jews, in massive numbers, were among the early converts to the new religion in the late 1870s and 1880s.After the execution in 1850 of the prophet-founder of the new religion, Sayyid ʽAlī Muḥammad, known as the Bāb (Ar./Pers. gate), the Bābī movement was rescued by Mīrzā Ḥusayn ʽAlī Nūrī (1817–1892). He styled himself Bahā’u’llāh (Ar. The Glory of God), thus changing the name of the movement from Bābī to Bahā’ī. Bahā’u’llāh emphasized his messianic role, which…

Bahar, Beki L.

(431 words)

Author(s): Aksel Erbahar
Beki Luiza Bahar, born in Istanbul in 1927, is a well-known Turkish playwright from Ankara. Bahar and her family moved to Ankara, Turkey’s new capital, in 1937 because of her father’s job. She graduated from TED (Turkish Educational Association) Ankara College and attended law school for a while. She also spent some time in Marseilles with her family before returning to Ankara. Her first article was published in 1958 in the weekly newspaper Haftanın Sesi, her first poem was published in 1959 in the anthology Varlık Yeni Şiirler Antolojisi, and her first short story was published in…

Bahar, Ivet

(224 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Dr. Ivet Bahar was born in Istanbul in 1957. After completing her B.S. (1980) and M.S. (1983) in the Chemical Engineering Department of Bosporus University, and her Ph.D. (1986) at Istanbul Technical University, she joined the chemistry faculty of Bosporus University. She rose in the academic ranks from assistant professor (1986–1988) and associate professor (1988–1993) to full professor (1993–2001), and was the founding director of the university’s Polymer Research Center (1989–2001). In 2001 Ba…

Bahar, Mois

(152 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Mois Bahar was born on September 27, 1945 in Istanbul and graduated in 1971 from the Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty at Istanbul University. Since 1991 he has been professor and department chairman of anesthesia and intensive care at the Istanbul University Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty Hospital. He is, in addition the director of the Department of Craniocerebrospinal Trauma and Rehabilitation at Istanbul University’s Institute of Neurological Sciences, director of the Department for Anesthesia and Gene…

Bahrain (Bahrayn)

(309 words)

Author(s): Jeremy L. Hirsh
Although a Jewish community in the geographical area of Bahrain (Bahrayn) is referred to in the Talmud, in Arabic sources, and by the twelfth-century travler Benjamin of Tudela, the modern Jewish community traces its origins to the late 1880s, when Saleh Eliyahou Yadgar left his home in Basra and settled in Manama, the capital.  Subsequently, Jewish families from Basra, Baghdad, and other places in Iraq, and from Iran settled in Manama, and a synagogue and at least two Hebrew schools were established.Jews faced few social or economic restrictions in Bahrain, enjoyed excellen…


(360 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Baḥuṣim (Heb. outsiders), or sometimes baḥūṣiyya, a slightly arabized variant of the Hebrew, was the name Jewish townsfolk gave to the semi-nomadic, tent-dwelling Jews who lived in duwwārs, or small encampments, in the area extending from the region around Jerid and Le Kef in western Tunisia to the province of Constantine across the border in Algeria, where they could be found between Suq-el-Ahras and Tébessa and in the southern oases. Muslims referred to them as Yahūd al-cArab (Ar. Bedouin Jews).The baḥuṣim were often allied with or under the protection of larger Arab tribal confed…

Baḥya (Pseudo)

(431 words)

Author(s): Josefina Rodríguez Arribas
Very little is known about Pseudo-Baḥya, the name generally applied to the author of the Judeo-Arabic treatise Kitāb Maʿānī al-Nafs (On the Essence of the Soul), a Neoplatonic work that for some time was attributed to Baḥya Ibn Paqūda. The dates of the sources it mentions, such as Nissim ben Jacob Ibn Shāhīn and Ibn Sīna [Avicenna], and the fact that it does not mention any writers of the second half of the twelfth century indicate that Maʿānī al-Nafs was composed sometime between the mid-eleventh and mid-twelfth centuries. The author refers to another work of his entitled On the Gradation …


(931 words)

Author(s): Onur Yildirim
The Balat quarter of Istanbul, situated on the southern shores of the Golden Horn, was heavily populated by Jews from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century. There were Jews living in Balat as early as the Byzantine period, and they were joined by a substantial influx of exiles from Spain in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, but Balat became the principal center of Jewish presence in Istanbul only after the Great Fire of 1660. This calamity caused the destruction of thousands of Jewish homes and shops in the districts of Eminönü, Bağçekapusu, T…

Bali, Rifat

(452 words)

Author(s): Cengiz Sisman
Rifat Bali, born into a Sephardi family in Istanbul in 1948, is an independent scholar specializing in minority issues and the history of Turkish Jews and the Turkish Republic. He received his primary education in a Jewish school, and his secondary and high school education in the French lycées Saint-Michel and Saint-Benoît respectively. From 1970 and until the late 1990s, he worked as a sales executive and later on was a self-employed businessman. Always longing for intellectual activity, he be…
Date: 2015-09-03


(4,346 words)

Author(s): Yitzchak Kerem
1. Ottoman PeriodThe Balkan Peninsula was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. From then until the Ottoman retreat due to military defeats and the rise of nationalism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Jews of the Balkans lived under Muslim rule. Before the Ottoman conquest, small Romaniot communities existed under the Byzantines, and the Romaniot rite remained dominant under the Ottomans until the arrival of masses of Sephardim in the aftermath of the expulsions from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1497). Sephardi co…


(798 words)

Author(s): Ben Zion Yehoshua-Raz
1. Historical overviewThe ancient city of Balkh was one of the most important centers of the eastern Islamic world. Situated in a region noted for orchards, horse-breeding, and minerals, and located on the main international trade routes to China and India, it was a crossroads for Persians, Indians, Arabs, and Chinese, and throughout its history attracted conquerors and migrants, Jews among them.According to the Arab chronicler al-Maqrizī (d. 1442), Jews first settled in Balkh during the reign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (705–681 B.C.E.) under his policy of transferri…


(494 words)

Author(s): Nancy E. Berg
Shimʿon Ballas was born in 1930 in Baghdad. He was brought up in a Christian neighborhood of the city and educated at the Alliance Israélite Universelle school. He developed a love for literature through French novels and French translations. Politically active, he worked for Senator Ezra Menahem Daniel and joined the Iraqi Communist Party at an early age. As the situation in Iraq became untenable for Communists and Zionists, he emigrated to Israel in 1951. There he worked as editor of Arab affairs for Kol ha-ʿAm for a time, then left to dedicate more time to his writing, and es…

Bana, Izzet

(250 words)

Author(s): Romina Meric
İzzet Bana was born in 1950 in Istanbul. He attended II. Karma Elementary School, where he later organized and directed numerous plays. He continued his education at Liceo Scientifico Italiano I.M.I, a missionary school in Istanbul.  Bana has been an important contributor to the betterment and cultural development of Turkey’s Jewish youth clubs, such as the Dostluk Yurdu Derneği (Dostluk Youth Club), Göztepe Kültür Derneği (Göztepe Youth Club & Jewish Community Center), Yıldırımspor Kültür Derneği (Yıldırım Sports & Youth Club), and Arkadaşlık…

Banderly, Bella (Bilha)

(641 words)

Author(s): David Guedj
Bella (Bilha) Banderly was born into a Hasidic family in the city of Safed in 1889. When she was still a child, her family moved to the Jewish colony of Metulla, where she attended a school supervised by the first Hebrew-speaking teachers in the Galilee. In 1912, she married Shimshon Banderly, a merchant and public figure from Haifa, in an arranged marriage. That same year, the couple moved to Paris and lived there until they returned to Haifa in 1920. Little is known about her life during this …


(738 words)

Author(s): Reeva Spector Simon
During the nineteenth century, whether as ṣarrāfs (financial advisers) in the Middle East or tujjār al-sulṭān (royal merchants) in Morocco, members of the Jewish commercial elite used assets accumulated from money-changing, moneylending, and trade to open banks and to invest abroad. Middle Eastern Jewish bankers, in partnership with the European merchant bankers who were penetrating the region economically, provided the capital for factories, railroad construction, and real estate development in the Middle East. The European financiers were ma…

B ( anti-Jewish violence in - Bzou (Morocco): Jewish quarters in)

(871 words)

Bulgaria  anti-Jewish violence in, Balkans anti-Zionist policies in, Plovdiv (Filibe) antisemitism in, Bulgaria, Plovdiv (Filibe), Varna, Varna  influence of Great Depression on, Varna autonomy of, Plovdiv (Filibe) Byzantine rule of, Bulgaria Christian-Jewish relations in, Bulgaria, Bulgaria conquest of Serres (Macedonia) by, Serres (Siroz) culture of, Jewish influences on, Bulgaria Hungarian attacks on, Bulgaria independence of, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire, Plovdiv (Filibe), Plovdiv (Filibe), Vidin Jews in, Bulgaria, Sephardim/Sephardi Jews in the …

Banū ʾl-Naḍīr

(561 words)

Author(s): Shari Lowin
The Banū ʾl-Naḍīr were one of the three major Jewish tribes in Medina (Yathrib) during the time of Muḥammad, along with the Banū Qurayẓa and Banū Qaynuqāʿ. Some Arabic sources provide a genealogy of the Naḍīr (and Qurayẓa) linking them to the biblical Aaron, thus explaining the title al- kāhinān (Ar. the two priestly tribes). Their origins are otherwise murky. For example, the early Arab historian al-Yaʿqūbī, in the second half of the ninth century, maintains that they were Judham Arabs who converted to Judaism and settled in Mount Naḍīr, hence, their name( Taʾrīkh, ed. Houtsma, vol. 2,…

Banū Qaynuqāʾ

(540 words)

Author(s): Shari Lowin
The Banū Qaynuqāʾ were the only one of the three major Jewish tribes in Medina (Yathrib) that did not own major agricultural tracts in or around the city. Unlike the other two Medinese Jewish tribes, they made their living as goldsmiths, from their ownership of a marketplace, and possibly from some date orchards. Lecker maintains that Muḥammad’s real reason for the assassination of Kaʽb ibn al-Ashraf, the leader of the Jewish Banū ʾl-Naḍīr, was that he tried to prevent Muḥammad from establishing a new marketplace near the one owned by the Banū Qaynuqāʾ. C…

Banū Qurayẓa

(595 words)

Author(s): Shari Lowin
The Banū Qurayẓa were one of the three major Jewish tribes in pre-Islamic Medina (Yathrib). As with the other Jewish tribes, the Banū ʾl-Naḍīr and the Banū Qaynuqā’, the Islamic sources are murky on their origin. Some maintain that the Banū Qurayẓa and the Banū ʾl-Naḍīr were descended from the biblical Aaron, hence their nickname al-kāhinān (Ar. the two priestly tribes). Others claim that all three groups were Arab clans that had adopted Judaism. Like the other two Jewish tribes, the Banū Qurayẓa were wealthy and owned many fortresses in Yathrib. T…


(641 words)

Author(s): Mark Kligman
The poetic texts known as baqqashot comprise a category of piyyut im (Hebrew liturgical texts) that embellish religious concepts. Baqqashot were composed from the first century C.E. through the nineteenth century. Some were accepted and incorporated into the standard siddur (prayerbook). The practice of reciting baqqashot seems to have originated in Spain in the fourteenth or fifteenth century as a paraliturgical ritual preceding the Sabbath morning service. It included the singing of poetic texts, some by all present in unison, and some chanted by a soloist. At times the music was …

Baradānī, Joseph al-

(514 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Joseph al-Baradānī was a payṭan (liturgical poet) and a cantor in tenth-century Baghdad. His father, Ḥayyim, had also been a poet and cantor, and so too were his son Nahum al-Baradānī and at least one grandson, Solomon.  As indicated by his nisba (attributive name) the family was based at some point in the Baghdad suburb of Baradān, though by Joseph’s time it had moved into the city proper, where he served with distinction as cantor of the main synagogue—in fact, in a letter Hay Gaon refers to him, post-mortem, as “the great cantor” (Heb. ha-ḥazzan ha-gadol). Joseph’s corpus of liturgical…
Date: 2015-09-03

Baradānī, Nahum al-

(679 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Nahum al-Baradānī flourished in the second half of the tenth century and the first decade of the eleventh as the third (at least) in a line of poets and cantors. As indicated by his name, the family must once have been based in the Baghdad suburb of Baradān, but this would have been before the time of Nahum’s father, Joseph, who served as the “Great Cantor” in Baghdad’s central synagogue. Although his main occupation seems to have been as a merchant—and a quite wealthy one, at that—Nahum is know…
Date: 2015-09-03

Barazani (Barzani), Asenath

(382 words)

Author(s): Renée Levine Melammed
Asenath Barazani (d. ca. 1670) was the daughter of Samuel ben Nethanel ha-Levi (1560?–1625/1635?), an eminent rabbi, scholar, and mystic who strove to improve the level of Jewish learning and leadership in his native Kurdistan. He founded a yeshiva in Mosul where he trained a generation of scholars who went on to educate communities throughout the country. His two most outstanding students were his daughter Asenath, whom he taught because he had no sons, and Jacob Mizraḥi, who later became her husband.Because Asenath was such a fine scholar, her father was protective of her …


(615 words)

Author(s): Arturo Prats
Barcelona (Ar. Barshilūna) was one of the most important commercial ports on the northeastern coast of Spain during the Middle Ages. There are references to the Jewish community of Barcelona as early as the ninth century, but its history is best documented during the period of the Crown of Aragon.The Arabs ruled the city during the eighth century, but it returned to Christian control in the ninth (801). Although the period of Muslim rule was quite brief -only three generations- there was constant contact with al-Andalus. After the destruction by al-Manṣūr ibn Abī ʿĀmir (Almanzor) in …

Bardavit, Beki

(273 words)

Author(s): Romina Meric
Beki Bardavid, born in Istanbul in 1936,  is a Turkish language instructor, writer, and translator. She graduated from Lycée Notre Dame de Sion in Istanbul, and subsequently obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in French Language and Literature from Istanbul University Faculty of Literature in 1980. After teaching French at Lycée Saint-Michel in Istanbul for some time, Bardavid got her second Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Spanish Language and Literature from Istanbul University Faculty of Literature in 1998.In addition to her books, Bardavid has written arti…
Date: 2021-04-06

Bargeloni, Isaac ben Reuben, al-

(335 words)

Author(s): Arturo Prats
Rabbi Isaac ben Reuben al-Bargeloni was born in 1043, most probably in Barcelona, as his nisba (attributive name) asserts. According to M. E. Barjau and T. Calders he died in 1113. Documents from the Cairo Geniza describe him as a pupil of Ḥanokh ben Moses, whose lessons he probably attended while a student in Cordova.Al-Bargeloni was dayyan in Denia during the reign of the Slavic taifa king Mujāhid (r. 1014–1044/45). Abraham Ibn Da'ud states in Sefer ha-Qabbala that he was related by marriage to the powerful Ibn Lakhtush family. He was also an ancestor of Naḥmanides, and according to Simeon …

Barīd al-Yawmī (Baghdad), al-

(284 words)

Author(s): Orit Bashkin
The Iraqi newspaper al-Barīd al-Yawmī (Daily Mail) was nominally edited by a Muslim, Hāshim al-Bannā, but most of its writers and all the members of its editorial board were Jewish intellectuals, most notably Edward Shā’ul (Suhīl Ibrāhīm) and Mīr Mu‘allim (1921–1978). Nissim Rejwan, Ezra Ḥaddād, and Shalom Darwīsh were contributors.The atmosphere in which al-Barīd al-Yawmī came into being was colored by events connected with the conflict in Palestine in 1948. Iraq’s Jews were under attack by the right-wing press, while the affiliation of many radical young Jews w…

Bar Kokhba Society (Cairo)

(327 words)

Author(s): Ruth Kimche
The Bar Kokhba Society was founded in Cairo in February 1897 by Joseph Marco Baruch, a native of Turkey and graduate of the Universities of Paris and Bern, who arrived in Egypt in 1896. The society was the first Zionist organization in Egypt and in the Islamic world as a whole, and thus was the focal point of Zionist activism in Egypt at the turn of the twentieth century.The elected council of Bar Kokhba, headed by Jacques Harmalin, was made up entirely of Ashkenazi Jews belonging to the middle and lower classes. When its early efforts to recruit non-Ashkenazi members proved u…

Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah

(1,605 words)

Author(s): Shalom Sabar
1. Bar MitzvahThe Bar Mitzvah (Heb. son of the commandment) ceremony and its rituals as celebrated by the Jewish communities in the lands of Islam differed significantly from the better-known ceremony developed by European Jewry in the Ashkenazi world. Unlike the other major ceremonies of the Jewish life-cycle, Bar Mitzvah is not mentioned in the Torah, and even in texts from the talmudic era there is no indication that the day a boy reached the age of thirteen was celebrated as a festive event, although this age (plus a day) marked his legal maturity. The Mishna states that “at thirteen …

Bar-Moshe, Yiṣḥaq

(471 words)

Author(s): Nancy E. Berg
Born in 1927, Yiṣḥaq Bar-Moshe grew up in a middle-class religious family in Baghdad. After graduating from the Jewish community’s Rahil Shahmoun School, he attended a government high school before studying law at the Baghdad Law College. Briefly involved with the Communist movement, Bar-Moshe subsequently affiliated with the Zionist underground. Arriving in Israel during the mass exodus, he was housed in a transit camp (Heb. maʿabara) for three years. In 1958, he joined the Israeli Arabic broadcasting station, becoming head of its political department, before founding Al-Anbāʾ, …

Barnatán, Marcos Ricardo

(416 words)

Author(s): Naomi Linstrom
Marcos Ricardo Barnatán is an Argentine-born writer of Syrian parentage who has resided in Madrid since 1965. His central concerns include Kabbala, other mystical and occult systems, the Sephardic past, and Jorge Luis Borges.Marcos Ricardo Barnatán is a prolific and wide-ranging Argentine-Spanish creative writer, cultural critic, biographer, and student of Jewish mysticism. He was born on December 14, 1946 in Buenos Aires into a Sephardic family whose ancestors had settled in Syria following the expulsion from Spain. Sephardic …

Barouh, N. Izidor

(318 words)

Author(s): Aksel Vansten
N. İzidor Barouhwas born in Istanbul in 1915. In 1932, at the age of seventeen, he joined Turkey’s first advertising agency, İlancılıkLtd., as a customer representative. He rose quickly up the ranks and within a year ended up owning the majority of the company’s shares. Although the business depended solely on newspaper ads at the beginning, Barouh brought limitless dynamism to the Turkish advertising sector, adapting competitively and amenably to new market conditions, such as the use of radio and later television. His clients include such giants as the C…

Barouh, Yakup

(277 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Yakup Barouh is a Turkish advertising executive and a leader of the Jewish community. Born in Istanbul on February 7, 1945, he graduated from Robert College with an M.A. in marketing. He is a partner and executive vice president of Ilancilik Advertising Agency, the oldest advertising agency in Turkey, founded in 1909. He is also general secretary of the Executive Committee of the Turkish Advertising Agency Association and a member of the Turkish Advertising Self-Regulation Board.Barouh first began to work with Turkish Jewish community youth organizations in 1962. A mem…


(4 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see BenghaziNorman A. Stillman

Bar Saṭya, Joseph ben Jacob

(496 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
In the famous Epistle of Sherira Gaon (Heb. Iggeret Rav Sherira Ga’on), Joseph ben Jacob is described as “a son of geonim, grandson of the officiants, the priests,” from which it has now been established that Joseph’s father was Jacob ha-Kohen ben Naṭronay (not Jacob ben Mordechai, as per Ibn Da'ud in his Book of Tradition), the gaon of Sura from around 911 to 924. Joseph was appointed gaon of Sura in 930 by the exilarch David ben Zakkay I in apparent retaliation against the presiding gaon, Saʿadya ben Joseph, for his support of the a…
Date: 2015-09-03

Bar, Shlomo

(634 words)

Author(s): Edwin Seroussi
Born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1943, Shlomo Bar (né Ben Ghoush) moved to Israel with his family in 1948, settling in the village of Be’er Yaʿacov, near Ramla. He dropped out of school at an early age and worked in construction, but sang and played the drums in his free time, absorbing the many musical traditions of the settlers in the Ramla vicinity (notably those from India). His breakthrough occurred in 1976 when he performed his own songs in Joshua Sobol’s Kriza (Heb. Crisis), a seminal play about the social discrimination against mizraḥi (Heb. oriental) Jews in Israel.A year later in 1977,…

Barukh, Marco

(392 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Marco (Joseph Marcou) Barukh, an early apostle of pre-Herzlian Zionism in the Muslim world, was born in Constantinople in 1872. He studied at several European universities and because of his involvement in radical student groups was under police surveillance for much of his brief adult life. His involvement with Jewish nationalism began in 1893 when he joined the Kadimah student association in Vienna. The following year he was in Algeria, where he tried to propagate the Jewish national idea among the rapidly assimilating Algerian Jews. He published a short-lived journal,  Le Juge, bu…

Basola, Moses

(761 words)

Author(s): Abraham David
An Italian Jewish sage descended from a French family, Moses Basola (1480–1560) lived in several different cities in central and northern Italy. From the age of nine he resided in Soncino, where his father, Mordechai Basola, was employed as a proofreader by the Joshua Soncino press. At an unknown date, Basola moved to Pesaro, where he was employed as a teacher and tutor in the household of the eminent banker Moses Nissim of Foligno; he also spent time as a teacher in Fano. In 1535 or shortly thereafter, Basola received rabbinical ordination from Azriel Diena in Sabionetta. He then moved to Anco…


(1,860 words)

Author(s): Orit Bashkin
Basra (Ar. al-Baṣra) is a city in southern Iraq on the Shatt al-Arab waterway formed by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It lies 420 kilometers (279 miles) southeast of Baghdad. The site of the town has moved somewhat since the Middle Ages. The present site (New Basra) dates back to the eighteenth century. 1. Medieval PeriodThe Jewish community of Basra was one of the oldest and most prosperous in Iraq. Although most studies of Iraqi Jewry tend to focus on the Baghdadi community, Basran Jews played an important role in Iraq and throu…
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