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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Goar Family

(260 words)

Author(s): Adam Guerin
The Goars were an influential Jewish family in Alexandria involved in the import/export trade and banking. In the twentieth century, the brothers Edwin and Jack Goar distinguished themselves as important figures in the Alexandrine Jewish community. Edwin (1875–?), the elder of the two, was schooled in Switzerland and became one of Alexandria’s foremost import-export merchants. He belonged to the important business associations, served on several company boards, and was elected vice president and later president of the Jewish Community Council from 1948 to 1956. Jack G…

Goldenberg, Alfred

(275 words)

Author(s): Jonathan G. Katz
As a teacher and headmaster for the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU), Alfred Goldenberg (1907–1999) was responsible for the education of thousands of Moroccan Jewish youth during a career that spanned nearly forty years, principally in Marrakesh. Of Bessarabian and Moldavian parentage, Goldenberg was born in Turkey at the Jewish agricultural school Or Yehuda (Light of Judah), approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Izmir. His father, Joseph, was head of the school, which was sponsored by the Jewish Colonization Society.After attending the AIU school in Izmir, Alf…

Gormejano (Gormezano) Goren, Itzhak

(369 words)

Author(s): Lev Hakak
Itzhak Gormejano (Gormezano) Goren was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1941. He and his family emigrated to Israel in 1952, where they lived in transit camps ( maʿabarot) for four years. He studied English literature and French Culture (Department of French Culture) at Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University, and theater arts at a graduate school in the United States (1974–80). From 1970 to 1974 he worked for the Israel Broadcasting Authority, first as a programs editor,  then as an assistant director in the Drama Department, and during this period he wrote sketc…

Goulimine (also Goulimime)

(528 words)

Author(s): Ghislaine Lydon
Located in the Oued Noun (Mor. Ar.  Wād Nūn) region, the town of Goulimine (also Gouliminme) was founded before the fifteenth century near the ruins of Nūl Lamṭa, the eleventh-century center of the Almoravids (see Almoravids and Jews). The location of this oasis town on the northern edge of the desert south of the Moroccan sultanate gave it the nickname “Door of the Sahara,” reflecting its role as a crossroads of maritime and trans-Saharan trade. Predominantly inhabited by members of the large T…

Gozlan, Élie

(409 words)

Author(s): Richard Ayoun
Élie Gozlan was born on December 10, 1876, in Constantine, where his mother was a teacher of French in the French school. He graduated from the Ecole Normale in Constantine with a teaching degree in Arabic, and also taught French language and history. He left teaching for journalism after the Constantine riots in 1934. That same year he joined with some Christian and Muslim political and religious colleagues to found the Union of Monotheistic Believers in Algiers. Gozlan spent the next thirty years fighting racism, abuse, and injusticein Algiers, where he defended victims of p…

Gozlan, Solomon

(438 words)

Author(s): Yossef Chetrit
Solomon Gozlan wrote poetry in Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, and both languages together, and is only known through the acrostic signatures of his poems. He lived in southern Morocco, in the Draa region, and perhaps in the western Algerian city of Oran in the second half of the eighteenth century and early in the nineteenth. By his own testimony, he taught young children in the Tamgrut region and composed talismans.Gozlan was the first Jewish poet in North Africa to write most of his work in spoken Judeo-Arabic and to address the living conditions and problems of peop…

Goztepe Youth Club and Jewish Community Center

(361 words)

Author(s): Romina Meric
The Göztepe Kültür Derneği (Göztepe Culture Club), also called the Göztepe Youth Club and the Jewish Community Center, located in the Kadiköy district on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, was established in 1975 by a benevolent group led by Sami Day, the head of the Kadiköy Hemdat Israel Synagogue. Their purpose was to promote social interactions among Jews residing in the Anatolian part of Istanbul. In furtherance of this goal, Göztepe Kültür Derneği has a busy program of athletic, cultural, and artistic activities and about 250 volu…

Grammar and Masora

(2,193 words)

Author(s): Geoffrey Khan
The term Masora (Heb. tradition) refers to the activity of the scholars known as Masoretes in the first millennium C.E., the purpose of which was to transmit the Hebrew Bible accurately in both its written and orally recited forms. The Masoretes continued the work of the  soferim (Heb. scribes) of the Second Temple and talmudic periods, who were also occupied with the correct transmission of the biblical text.After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E., a special effort was made to preserve the Jewish Scriptures. Even before this time Jewish religious authorities …


(1,264 words)

Author(s): Jonathan P. Decter
A suburb of the southern Iberian provincial seat of Elvira during the Roman, Visigothic, and Umayyad periods, Granada (Ar. Gharnāṭa) became a major city of al-Andalus in the eleventh century. It was the seat of the Berber Zirid kingdom of Granada during the taifa period (1013–1090) but fell into a decline during the Almoravid and Almohad periods, when it became economically and culturally secondary to Seville. It was the illustrious capital of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada from 1238 until 1492, when the city was conquered by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.The name Granada…

Grana (Livornese)

(1,465 words)

Author(s): Jacques Taïeb
Jews from Leghorn (Livorno) who settled in Tunis in the seventeenth century were usually referred to as Grāna (sing. Gurnī or Gorni), a term derived from the Arabic name of Leghorn, al-Ghurna. The term appears in the minutes of the community and other documents, and continued in use under the French protectorate (1881–1956). In the mid-nineteenth century communal documents began to use the Italian terms Livornesi (sing. Livornese).     The Grana lived in Tunisia for over 350 years and played an important economic and cultural role in the life of the country and its Jewish community. Alt…

Great Britain

(6 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see United KingdomNorman A. Stillman

Great famine (Iran)

(236 words)

Author(s): Daniel Tsadik
The Great Famine erupted in the early 1870s in different parts of Iran. According to one estimate, 1.5 million people perished, amounting to between 20 and 25 percent of the total population of six or seven million. In June 1871, the British consul-general in Tabriz notified Sir Moses Montefiore (1784–1885), a leader of British Jewry, about the situation of the Jews in Shiraz and other localities. Montefiore and the London-based Board of Deputies of British Jews called on the public to donate money for the Jews of Iran. Contributions were forthcoming from Jews in Germ…

Greece (pre-1824)

(1,471 words)

Author(s): Yaron Ayalon
Greece (Gr. Ellada; Heb. Yavvan; Tur. Yunanistan) is a country in southeastern Europe. The area that constitutes present-day Greece was under Ottoman rule from the second half of the fourteenth century to 1832 (a period known in Greek historiography as the Tourkokratia), when Greece officially obtained its independence. Jews have been living in Greece at least from the third century B.C.E. Since then, and through the Roman and Byzantine periods, Jews have resided in various locales on the Greek mainland, as well as on some of the islands, including Rhodes, Kos, Crete, and Cyprus.Under By…


(381 words)

Author(s): Arturo Prats
Guadalajara (Ar. Wādī al-Ḥijāra) is located 56 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Madrid on the left bank of the Henares River. It is mentioned only sporadically in Arabic sources. The only known mention of the Jewish population of Guadalajara from before 1290 is in a poem that Judah ha-Levi wrote to Joseph ha-Nasi Ibn Ferruziel, also called Cidello, on the occasion of his visit there in the last decade of the eleventh century.According to Haim Beinart, Ibn Ferruziel rescued the Jews of Guadalajara in 1085 when Alfonso VI conquered the city and took them prisoner. Ashtor proposes…


(549 words)

Author(s): Angel Saénz-Badillos
Guadix (Ar. Wādī Āsh) is a small city in northeastern Granada Province, less than 64 kilometers (40 miles) from the city of Granada, on the left bank of the river Guadix, a subtributary of the Guadiana Menor. In Roman times it was called Acci (Accitum); two Roman legions were garrisoned there to guard the surrounding mountains. In the second century it was the seat of one of the first bishops of the Peninsula. Asenjo Sedano maintains that a Jewish community was already established in the city in the second or third century, or at least before the Council of Elvira.After the Muslim conquest in…

Gubbay (Gabbai) Family (India)

(658 words)

Author(s): Joan Roland | Tamar Marge Gubbay
Migrating from Baghdad in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, members of the Gubbay (Gabbai, Gabbay) family went westward to Aleppo and eastward to India and beyond, arriving in Calcutta and Bombay in the early nineteenth century. Along with other leading “Baghdadi” families, such as the Sassoons and the Ezras, with whom they intermarried, the Gubbays were involved in the indigo, textile, and opium trades.In Calcutta, Elia(s) Shalome Gubbay (1829–1898) became a leading merchant and real estate investor. His philanthropy and civic engagement extended t…
Date: 2015-09-03


(392 words)

Author(s): Richard Ayoun
Guelma (Ar. Qālima) is a city in northeastern Algeria about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Mediterranean, located at an altitude of 290 meters (952 feet) in the valley of Wadi Seybouse, and surrounded by mountains. Known as Calama under the Romans, the town was probably first established as a Phoenician site. While Jews may have lived in Calama in the Roman period, the only known community came into existence following the French conquest, when Marshal Bertrand Clauzel established a permanent camp there in 1834 and a settlement was reestablished. With the development of the area…

Guéron, Angèle

(383 words)

Author(s): Aksel Erbahar
Angèle Guéron  was born in 1886 in Istanbul. She was educated at the Alliance Israélite Universelle school in Istanbul and then at the AIU teachers college, the Ecole Normale Israélite Orientale, in Paris, from which she graduated in 1904. The following year she was appointed to the Alliance school in Tunis as an instructor, and later she also taught for a time at the Alliance school in Istanbul. The Alliance regarded Guéron as a highly promising educator. In 1907, at the age of twenty-one, she was appointed director of the Alliance school for girls in Haifa, and two years later, in 1909, direct…

Guetta, Kiki

(205 words)

Author(s): Jacques Taïeb
Kiki Guetta (Kiki is the nickname for Jacob in the Arabic dialect of Tunisian Jewry) was born in Tunis on February 15, 1882, and died there in 1970. During the Belle Époque and in the years following World War I, he was a star of the artistic and musical stage in Tunis. He performed skits in mixed French and Arabic, sometimes in Hebrew, and introduced his largely Jewish and Arabic-speaking audience to entertainment genres that came straight from  Paris, such as light-hearted songs, puns, and plays on words in French and Arabic. Tunisian Jews knew about parody; but Guetta innovated as a typ…

Güleryüz, Naim Avigdor

(340 words)

Author(s): Stanford Shaw
Naim Avigdor Güleryüz was born in 1933 in Istanbul into a Sephardi family whose ancestors originally settled in eastern Thrace after the expulsion from Spain. A graduate of the Istanbul Faculty of Law, he is fluent in Turkish, French, English, and Judeo-Spanish. Güleryüz has served as vice president and, since 2008, president of the Quincentennial Foundation, also known as 500:Yıl Vakfı, a body established in 1989 in Istanbul by a group of Turkish citizens, both Jews and Muslims, to celebrate, with an extended cultural program in Turkey and abroad,…
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