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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Laredo, Abraham Isaac

(248 words)

Author(s): Mitchell Serels
Abraham Isaac Laredo (1895–1969) was a leader of the Jewish community of Tangier, serving as secretary and vice-president of the Junta (Jewish Community Council) in 1949 and as its president in 1956. Laredo was active in many communal organizations, including the Société d’Histoire et d’Archéologie de Tanger, the Ligue Anti-Tuberculeuse Entraide National, and the Association pour la Défense des Intérêts de Tanger, and served as president of the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE ) in Tangier until it closed in 1964…

Laredo Family

(455 words)

Author(s): Mitchell Serels
The Laredo family traces its origins to the Spanish town of Laredo, Santander Province of Viejo Castile, although it had roots in Briviesca, Burgos, and Villanueva. The family included rabbinic figures and lay leaders in Tangier, Ksar el-Kébir, and Gibraltar. Family members also served as leaders of the ḥevrat gemilat ḥasidim (Heb. society for acts of loving-kindness), administering the burial and cemetery rituals. They also participated in the benevolent societies that cared for the sick and provided dowries for poor brides.One of the best-known members of the family was Abraham La…

Laredo, Isaac

(258 words)

Author(s): Mitchell Serels
Isaac Laredo (1866–1946) was a multilingual writer, journalist, and sociologist in Tangier. As a young journalist, he fought against official misuse of office and for the modernization of the community. He wrote under various pseudonyms, including Omega, el-Bachir, and HaMeliz, and was a founder of La Cronica, a local newspaper . He also wrote for the press in Spain, Gibraltar, and Tangier. Laredo helped to create the Hygiene Commission and from 1888 to 1889 was its first secretary-treasurer. In 1898 he was made honorary vice-president of the Jewish Community Council ( Junta), and in …

La Revue Sioniste (Cairo)

(228 words)

Author(s): Ovadia Yeroushalmy
In March 1917 Jack N. Mosseri (1884–1934) was appointed president of the Zionist Organization in Egypt. As one of his first acts, he provided the organization with an official organ— La Revue Sioniste, a bimonthly French-language journal. Its first issue appeared in January 1918, and it continued intermittently until 1924.Under the editorship of the lawyer and Zionist leader Léon Castro (1884–1954?), La Revue Sioniste reported on the activities of the Zionist movement in Egypt and around the world. In two articles early in 1923, Lucien Magnes called upon Mi…

Lārī, Abū 'l Ḥasan

(421 words)

Author(s): Vera B. Moreen
Abū ʾl Ḥasan Lārī was the central figure in an incident that occurred in the southwestern Iranian town of Lār sometime between 1616 and 1620, as recounted in the Judeo-Persian chronicle Kitāb-i Anusī (The Book of a Forced Convert) by Bābāī b. Luṭf. Its main element was an effort to make the Jews wear demeaning headgear that would distinguish them from Shīʿī Muslims, in keeping with the customs ostensibly initiated by the caliph ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (r. 634-644).According to Ibn Luṭf, the Jews of Lār were concerned about the conflict of interest generated by the circumsta…

Larissa (Yenishehir-i Fenari)

(929 words)

Author(s): Yitzchak Kerem
Larissa is the industrial center of the Thessaly region northwest of Athens, and has been the crossroads for commerce between the cities of Macedonia and Epirus with Morea (the Peloponnesus) since the fifth century. Its Jewish community dated to at least the early Byzantine period, as indicated by a Jewish inscription in Greek, “To the nation peace,” apparently a variant of the Hebrew saying “Peace unto Israel.”Situated in the midst of an agricultural region, Larisa was rebuilt several times in the Byzantine period. Conquered and annexed in 1423, it remained p…

Lashoniyya, Talashont, Taqollit

(681 words)

Author(s): Moshe Bar-Asher
In most places where Jews settled in Morocco, the Arabic they spoke differed from the language of the local Muslims. It was only at the end of the twentieth century and the start of the twenty-first, when the size of the country’s Jewish population had dwindled greatly and Jews no longer lived in closed neighborhoods, that dialectic variations between Jews and Muslims blurred or disappeared. The distinctions were once apparent in every aspect of language—phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary, and semantics. For example, the consonant [k] exists in the dialect of Muslims in the Tafil…

Lasry, Marc

(379 words)

Author(s): Alma Heckman
Marc Lasry was born in 1961 in Marrakesh, Morocco. Five years later his family emigrated to the United States, settling in Hartford, Connecticut. His father, Moïse, was a computer programmer; his mother, Elise, a teacher. From this modest background, Lasry rose to become a major figure in hedge-fund management and the broader domain of international finance.Lasry graduated from Clark University in 1981 with a B.A. in history,  and three years later, in 1984, was awarded his J.D. from New York Law School. He initially practiced in bankruptcy law, but…

La Tribune Juive (Cairo)

(470 words)

Author(s): Ovadia Yeroushalmy
La Tribune Juive was a French-language weekly that appeared in Alexandria between 1936 and 1948. It was the most important political journal of the Jewish press in Egypt during the 1940s. Its beginnings go back to  Judea, an unsuccessful journal founded in January 1936 under the editorship of Jacques Rabin (1912–1991), who had many years of journalistic experience in Egypt’s French-language press. In February 1936 a Jew of Polish origin named Mendel Kalkstein submitted a request for a license to publish La Tribune Juive. A short while after its first issues appeared, he emigra…

L'Aurore (Cairo)

(249 words)

Author(s): Ovadia Yeroushalmy
LʾAurore was a pro-Zionist French-language Jewish weekly in Cairo between 1924 and 1941. Its owner and first editor was Lucien Sciuto (1858–1947), a journalist, author, and educator. He had originally begun publishing L’Aurore in Istanbul, but was forced to close because of disputes with the leaders of the local Jewish community. He moved to Egypt in 1919 and there resumed publication of L’Aurore. In contrast to the weekly Israël, which appeared in Cairo during the same period, L’Aurore was critical and even provocative. Its editorial policy soon led to friction between…

L’Aurore (Istanbul)

(614 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
L’Aurore (1908–1920, 1924–1931) was a French-language pro-Zionist newspaper, initially a bi-weekly and then a weekly, that was published first in Istanbul, and later in Cairo. Its founder and publisher, the Salonica-born poet and writer Lucien Sciuto (1868–1947), saw L’Aurore as a newspaper for Jewish readers that would promote Zionism and Ottomanism, which he saw as complementary movements. The first issue came out one day after the proclamation of the 1908 Ottoman constitution and opened with a quotation from Theodor Herzl (1860–1904). L’Aurore quickly established itself a…

La Vara (Cairo)

(181 words)

Author(s): Ovadia Yeroushalmy
La Vara (The Rod) was a biweekly Judeo-Spanish journal published in Cairo in Rashi script from 1905 to 1908. The noted historian, educator, and author Abraham Galanté (1873–1961), its founder and chief editor, had moved to Egypt in 1904 in the aftermath of a dispute with the leaders of the Jewish community in Izmir (Smyrna). The author of dozens of articles and books about Turkish Jewry, Galanté targeted a predominantly Jewish audience, and devoted most of the pages of La Vara to attacks on the institutions and leaders of Ottoman Jewry, especially in Turkey. In the very fir…

L’Avenir Illustré (Casablanca)

(383 words)

Author(s): Yaron Tsur
Published in Casablanca from 1926 to 1940 in French,  L’Avenir Illustré was the first long-lasting Jewish periodical in Morocco. It advocated reforms in the Jewish community and sought to instill the ideals of Jewish nationalism among the increasingly Westernized Jewish elite that had come into being in Morocco during the French protectorate. Its founder and editor was an Ashkenazi Jew, Jonathan Thursz (1895–1976), a native of Poland who was educated in Belgium and settled in Morocco in 1923. The French colonial authorities disapproved of Zionism but were unable to object to L’Avenir…

La Voix des Communautés (Rabat)

(13 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Conseil des Communautés Israélites du Maroc (CCIM)Daniel Schroeter

La Voix d’Israël (Tunis)

(239 words)

Author(s): Mohsen Hamli
La Voix d’Israël(Tunis) was a two- to eight-page Zionist newspaper, originally a weekly, then a bimonthly, that was published in Tunis from March 1920 to February 1930. Subtitled the “Political Organ of Zionism and North African Judaism—special service of daily Jewish information,” La Voix d’Israël was directed by Menahem Bellaïche(also Belaïs ), and edited by his son Jacques Belaïche, one of the founders, along with Jules Bonan, of the Yoshevet Ṣiyyon Society,  formed in 1914, which viewed itself as ideologically in line with the religious Zionism of the Mizrachi movement. Georges N…

La Voix Juive (Alexandria)

(163 words)

Author(s): Ovadia Yeroushalmy
La Voix Juive was a French-language weekly that appeared in Alexandria between 1931 and 1933. Its chief editor was the charismatic Albert Staraselski (1903–1980), who established Revisionist Zionism in Egypt and used the paper to promote the Revisionist program. La Voix Juive had the support of the chief rabbi, David Praṭo (1882–1951), and other Alexandrian Jewish notables. It penetrated wide segments of the Jewish community of Egypt thanks in part to Staraselski’s well-written, carefully organized articles but also to its relatively low price…

Lazarus, Jacques

(716 words)

Author(s): Jessica Hammerman
Jacques Lazarus was the principal advocate for the Jews of Algeria after 1948, and especially during the Algerian War (1954–1962). He was born on September 2, 1916 to Alsatian Jewish parents then living in Payerne, Switzerland, but after World War I his family moved to Colmar, which had become French once again. In pursuit of a military career, Lazarus joined the French Army in the 1930s and served until the 1940 armistice with Germany and the establishment of the Vichy regime, when he was discharged from the army under the Jewish Statute. In 1943 he became a leader of the clandestine Armée Jui…


(3,002 words)

Author(s): Kirsten Schulze
The presence of Jews in Lebanon dates back to biblical times. The first Jews are said to have arrived around 1000 b.c.e. The flourishing trade relations between King Solomon (r. 970–930 b.c.e.) and King Hiram of Tyre attracted other Jews to the area. During the reign of Aristobolus (104–105 B.C.E.), some areas around Mount Lebanon were conquered and forcibly Judaized. During the Roman period, the House of Herod ruled over large parts of Lebanon. In 132, after the Bar Kokhva Revolt, Jews from Galilee migrated to Mount Hermon. They were mainly agriculturalists. In 502 the Beirut synagogue w…

Le Jeune Turc

(426 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Le Jeune Turc was a daily newspaper in French published in Istanbul from 1908 to 1918. It was edited by Sami Hochberg, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and the Turkish journalist Celâl Nuri. The origins of Le Jeune Turc lay in Le Courrier d’Orient, owned by Ebüzziya Tevfik, an outspokenly antisemitic deputy from Antalya. Hochberg, Victor Jacobson, David Wolffsohn, and other Zionists purchased the paper from Tevfik in 1909 and transformed it into an organ sympathetic to the ruling Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). Under their control, the paper promoted the CUP and its program, democrac…

Le Journal de Salonique

(552 words)

Author(s): Olga Borovaya
Le Journal de Salonique (1895–1911) was the longest-lived French-language Sephardi periodical in the Ottoman Empire. It was founded by Bezalel Saadi Halevy in 1895 and after his retirement was run by his son Daout. Its first editor-in-chief was Vitalis Cohen, who was replaced by Lucien Sciuto. In 1898, this position was assumed by the publisher’s youngest son, Shmuel Saadi Halevy (Sam Saadi Lévy). Until mid-1908, Le Journal was a four-page bi-weekly. From 1908 to 1909, it appeared more often, up to five times per week, and often had a free supplement.The program of Le Journal, published …
Date: 2015-09-03
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