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Kohen, Moïse (Tekinalp, Munis)

(638 words)

Author(s): Jacob M. Landau
Moïse Kohen (Munis Tekinalp), an important political writer and ideological exponent of Ottoman and Turkish nationalism, was born in Serres, Macedonia, in 1883. He left his native town for Salonica, where he attended the Alliance Israélite Universelle school, studied for the rabbinate at the Jewish Teachers’ College (although he never practiced), and, finally, studied law at the newly founded École Impériale de Droit. Salonica was a hotbed of political ferment and revolutionary activity in those days, and in his search for a satisfactory political commitmen…

Israël (Cairo)

(369 words)

Author(s): Jacob M. Landau
Israël, an “independent weekly,” was published in Cairo by Albert D. Mosseri (1891–1932), a physician and scion of a well-known family of bankers and communal activists. The first issue appeared on April 2, 1920, and the last on June 1, 1939, edited by Mazal Mathilda, Mosseri’s widow (1893–1981). Israël was published in Hebrew, Arabic, and French in three separate four- or six-page fascicles. Each language had its own subeditor and contributors, with different contents depending on what suited the readers. The Hebrew edition was discontinued in 1932 and the Arabic in 1933.As the longe…

Ṣanūʿ (Sanua), Yaʿqūb (James)

(792 words)

Author(s): Jacob M. Landau
Yaʿqūb Ṣanūʿ, an Egyptian patriot, journalist, and playwright also known as James Sanua, represents one of the rare instances of a Jew who was actively involved in Egyptian politics. His father, Raphael, was a Sephardi Jew who had come to Egypt from Livorno and under the Capitulations (Ar. imtiyāzāt) enjoyed the status of a protégé. Yaʿqūb, born in Cairo in 1839, received a scholarship to study in Europe and went to Livorno for three years. On his return to Cairo, he earned a living for a few years by teaching foreign languages (of which he k…

Vambery, Arminius

(527 words)

Author(s): Jacob M. Landau
Born in Bratislava in 1832 as Hermann Vamberger, Arminius Vámbéry, who died in Budapest in 1913, was a Jewish traveler and scholar in Ottoman, Tatar, Iranian, and Central Asian studies. Educated in both Hungarian and German, Vámbéry studied several Turkic languages which he acquired or improved his command of during his travels. Lameness notwithstanding, he ventured (disguised as a dervish) into areas little visited by Europeans. His travel publications, along with his first studies on Turkic linguistics, were instrumental in his 1865 appointment as the first h…


(3,077 words)

Author(s): Jacob M. Landau
1. HistoryMiddle AgesCairo (Ar. al-Qāhira), the capital of Egypt, sits on both banks of the Nile River, 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) south of the Delta. It was built by the Fatimids following their conquest of Egypt in 969 near the earlier capital of Fustat (now called Old Cairo). From that time, and under diverse regimes, it has grown in size and importance, becoming the most populous city in Africa (with over 15 million inhabitants at present). At first, only Jews connected to the court or serving…

Turkish Republic

(7,354 words)

Author(s): Jacob M. Landau
1.Demography The dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire following its defeat in the First World War left a considerably reduced Turkey, defined by borders in Anatolia and eastern Thrace. These were guaranteed by the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922) and confirmed internationally by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. The Turkish Republic, established in 1923, had a Jewish community much smaller than that of the defunct Ottoman Empire and more isolated from other Jewish communities. The official censu…
Date: 2014-09-03

Zionism Among Sephardi/Mizraḥi Jewry

(13,650 words)

Author(s): Avi Davidi | Norman A. Stillman | Jacob M. Landau | Zvi Yehuda | Aksel Erbahar
1. General introductionThe mainstream modern Zionist movement was founded and developed by Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern and Central Europe, and institutions such as the World Zionist Organization and the Zionist Congresses were dominated by Ashkenazi European Jews. The majority of the pioneer settlers (Heb. ḥaluṣim; usually rendered in English as halutzim) who created the new Yishuv and its institutions in Palestine were also Ashkenazim, and they became the principal founders of the State of Israel. Not surprisingly, therefore, most of the s…
Date: 2015-09-03