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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Reinette l’Oranaise

(7 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Daoud, Reinette SultanaNorman A. Stillman

Rejwan, Nissim

(288 words)

Author(s): Lital Levy
Born in Baghdad in 1924, Nissim Rejwan is an author, journalist, and political commentator. He began writing for the Iraq Times while managing the Al-Rabita Bookshop in Baghdad. In 1951 he emigrated to Israel, where he joined the staff of the Jerusalem Post. He continued there until 1996. From 1957 to 1959 he also worked as a news editor for the Arabic section of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, and again as a features editor from 1976 to 1989; from 1959 to 1966 he was editor of the Tel Aviv Arabic daily al-Yawm. Over the years he studied at the Hebrew University and later at Tel Av…


(304 words)

Author(s): Richard Ayoun
Relizane (Ar. Ghalīzān; Berb. Ighil Izan) is a city and province in northwestern Algeria located on the plain of the Mina wadi, on the western side of the Ouarsenis Mountains. It was founded by the French near the site of the old Roman town of Mina following their conquest of Algeria. Jews settled in Relizane in 1857, and as the town was in the department of Oran, they were under the jurisdiction of the Oran Jewish consistory. The Jewish population grew from 25 in 1877 to 280 in 1881, 472 in 189…

Renacimiento de Israel (Tangier)

(302 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
The Renacimento de Israel (Renaissance of Israel) was a bimonthly Spanish-language review published in Tangier but printed in Algeciras, Spain. The paper described itself on its masthead as

Renassia, Daniel

(554 words)

Author(s): Yossef Charvit
Daniel ben Joseph Renassia (Ghenasiyya; 1904–1987) was a rabbi and teacher in Constantine and Israel in the twentieth century. As the successor of his father, Joseph ben David Renassia (1879–1962), he continued his educational work. This was evident, first and foremost, in his concern for teaching Judaism and Jewish culture during a period in which French cultural influences were quite dominant. It was also apparent in his translations of liturgical books and prayers into French, and his promotion of i…

Renassia, Joseph

(1,157 words)

Author(s): Yossef Charvit
Joseph ben David Renassia (Ghenasiyya, 1879–1962) was a writer, educator, legal decisor (Heb. poseq), and rabbinical judge ( dayyan) in Algeria. As chief rabbi of Constantine, he was an architect of the city’s Jewish educational system. He also headed a school for Torah study ( bet midrash), was a leading local supporter of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, and was one of the heads of the ʿEṣ Ḥayyim yeshiva. His powerful influence was felt across the Jewish communities of Algeria and throughout the eastern Maghreb.Renassia’s religious writings, a total of 137 texts, touch upo…

Resh Kalla

(334 words)

Author(s): Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman
Resh kalla (head of a row) was an Aramaic title bestowed upon leading members of the academies in Babylonia (see Yeshivot in Babylonia/Iraq) and prominent figures in the Diaspora communities. It was often substituted with its Arabic equivalent, raʼs al-kull, the Hebraicized form rosh kalla, or with the Hebrew term alluf (chief). The title derives from the circumstance that scholars in the Babylonian academies were organized in rows, with each row assigned a “head” who sat in the first row. The post was based largely on inheritance but also upon scholarly a…


(5,094 words)

Author(s): Y. Zvi Stampfer
The responsa literature (Heb. she’elot u-teshuvot, questions and answers) has been an important Jewish literary genre since the eighth century. As its name indicates, the responsa literature is a vast collection of queries sent by individuals or communities to important individuals or groups that had religious authority, and the responses the latter sent back. The questions dealt with every facet of Jewish life: law, philosophy, language, interpretation of the Bible, interpretation of the Talmud, and more. The roots of this literary genre lie in ancient times; the …
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