Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(407 words)

In the first half of the twentieth century, approximately a thousand Jews lived in pre-state Pakistan’s major urban centers: Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, and Lahore. The majority were members of the Bene Israel community of Maharashtra who had come to Pakistan with the British as railroad workers or as soldiers. They spoke Marathi, Urdu, and English; prayers were conducted in Hebrew. The rest were Jewish traders of Middle Eastern, Iranian, or Afghan origin.

The Magen Shalom synagogue in Karachi was inaugurated in 1893, and in 1916 a Hebrew school was opened on its premise…

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Shalva Weil, “Pakistan”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0017240>
First published online: 2010

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