Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Calcutta (present day Kolkata)
(618 words)

Shalome Cohen, a merchant from Aleppo, Syria, reputedly established the Jewish community in Calcutta in 1798. His diary, along with Moses Dwek's diary (preserved in the Sassoon Library) with entries from 1806 to 1861, provides source material on the early years of the community. In 1832, after the pogroms in Iraq under the Mamluk governor Daʾud Pasha (1817-1831), the wealthy businessman David Sassoon (see Sassoon Family) fled Baghdad for India and the Far East in order to pursue his commercial interests. Thousands of Baghdadis followed him to India, where they lived peacefully…

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Shalva Weil, “Calcutta (present day Kolkata)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 22 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0004850>
First published online: 2010

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