Jews in Arab Lands: The Refugee Issue

Choir of Rabbi Moshe Cohen in the Samuel Menashe Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt. Date Unknown.
Nebi Daniel Association photo collection 

We hope you enjoyed Diwaniyya’s latest episode about Jews in the Arab world. Two of our guests on the show, Ofra Bengio and Esther Webman, talked about their experiences of having to leave their native Syria and Egypt with their families in the early 1950s.

Their story is shared by many other Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. If you want to find out more, here are a number of resources on the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab states:

Earlier this month, Israel’s Foreign Ministry presented a special report “Jewish Refugees From Arab and Muslim Countries,” urging the Arab world to take responsibility for displacing Jews who once lived in Arab states.    

Writing in Israel’s daily Haaretz last week, Lyn Julius, cofounder of Harif, a U.K. association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, argued that the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is still an unsolved human rights issue.

Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) is an organization that “seeks recognition for the nearly one million Jews indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa who were displaced from their country of origin.” Their website includes a page with suggested reading material.

The point of no return blog is dedicated to the “Middle East’s forgotten refugees,” and is updated daily with useful resources.  

Have more suggestions for our readers and listeners? We welcome your suggestions in the comments section of our blog, or on our Facebook page.


Diwaniyya Contributor