Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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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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Peraḥya, Ḥasday Ben Samuel ha-Kohen

(166 words)

Author(s): Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky
Ḥasday ben Samuel ha-Kohen Peraḥya was a rabbi and halakhic authority in Salonica. Born around 1605 into one of the city’s distinguished families, and a disciple of Ḥayyim Shabbetay (d. 1647), he was appointed a dayya n in the city’s old Italian congregation in 1647. From 1671 until his death in 1678, he served as  chief rabbi of the Salonica community and raised up some noteworthy disciples, most especially  Jacob ben Abraham de Boton (d. 1687). In 1723, some years after Peraḥya’s death, a collection of his responsa, entitled Torat Ḥesed (The Law of Kindness) was published in Sal…

Perahya, Klara

(150 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Klara Perahya is a social worker, writer, and activist for the preservation of Judeo-Spanish culture. She was born in 1921 in Istanbul, was educated at the Notre Dame de Sion Lycée, and is active in the various  social services of the Turkish Jewish community. Since 1997, she has written a weekly column in Judeo-Spanish in Şalom ( Shalom), the only newspaper of the Turkish Jewish community. She has attended several international conferences on the Judeo-Spanish language and culture. Together with Suzi De Toledo, Suzi Danon, and Fani Ender, Perahya is an editor of Erensya Sefaradi (Proverb…

Perez, Victor (“Young Perez”)

(268 words)

Author(s): Haim Saadoun
Victor Perez was a Jewish boxer who won the world flyweight championship in 1931 at the age of twenty-one, becoming the first Jewish fighter from North Africa to win a world title. Born in 1911 in Tunis, where he boxed as an amateur,  he moved to France and became a professional boxer under the name “Young Perez,” to distinguish him from his brother  Benjamin, also a boxer, who was known as “Kid Perez.” He fought his first professional match on February 4, 1928, against an Italian fighter whom he beat by only a few points. His first title win was the French…

Perfet, Isaac ben Sheshet

(681 words)

Author(s): Samuel Morell
Isaac ben Sheshet Perfet (1326–1408), known as Ribash, was a major halakhic authority in Spain and North Africa. Until 1372 he lived in Barcelona, where his family had aristocratic roots, and was the foremost student of Nissim Gerondi (1320–1380). He also mentions as his teachers Perez ha-Kohen and the elder Ḥasday Crescas, grandfather of the well-known rabbi and philosopher of the same name, who was a lifelong friend of Perfet’s. Although he did not hold an official rabbinic position in Barcelona, Perfet conducted a school and had communal responsibilities. His standing is…

Petahiah of Regensburg

(545 words)

Author(s): Arnold Franklin
Petahiah of Regensburg (Ratisbon) was a Jewish traveler from Central Europe who visited the Islamic Near East in the last quarter of the twelfth century. He was born into a family of rabbinic scholars in Bohemia and was apparently involved in trade. He commenced his famous journey in the early 1170s, setting out either from Regensburg or Prague. After traveling eastward through Poland and Russia, he headed south across the Caucasus and into Asia Minor, and from there made his way to various parts of the Near East, including Iraq, Syria, Pa…
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