Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(838 words)

The word  aljama, the latinized form of Arabic al-jamāʿa (the community/congregation), was the term that normally designated Jewish communities in Christian Spain after the Reconquista. The term could be applied to places inhabited by Jews (aljamaiudaeorum) or by Muslims (aljama sarracenorum). In the former instance, for all intents and purposes, aljama was synonymous with qahal (pl. qehillot; Heb. the community/congregation). It was sometimes also a synonym for “ Jewish quarter,” which had various names in the Romance vernaculars: call in Catalonia, Majorca, and Rousillo…

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Yolanda Moreno Koch, “Aljama”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 19 October 2019
First published online: 2010

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