Photo: Govorkov/Wikimedia Commons

2020-2021 University of Birmingham CAMERA Fellow Anthony Bolchover

This November CAMERA on Campus launched the #MizrahiStories campaign to celebrate, commemorate and educate on the experiences of Jewish communities settled in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia since Biblical times. In Hebrew, these groups are labelled as Mizrahim, literally: Jews of the East, though indeed technically speaking North Africa is not East of Israel, this has become the most widely used term. Until the seventeenth century, Mizrahim composed the majority of the world Jewish population, and today they make up over half of Israeli Jews. Towards the end of the 1940s and into the 1950s, around 850,000 of Jews (over ninety per cent of these communities)  were forcibly uprooted from their homes in the Muslim world, where they had existed for over 2000 years in some cases. Most fled to Israel, where they sought refuge and a new life. This story is a largely untold one, even within the British Jewish community, where over eighty per cent are of Ashkenazi descent and thus most attention is directed toward their historic communities in Europe. The Mizrahi story is even less well known in the international community, who often focus disproportionately on the Palestinian exodus.

Click here to read the full article in The Times of Israel.

Contributed by 2020-2021 University of Birmingham CAMERA Fellow Anthony Bolchover.

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