Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

Get access Subject: Jewish Studies
Executive Editor: Norman A. Stillman

The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online (EJIW) is the first cohesive and discreet reference work which covers the Jews of Muslim lands particularly in the late medieval, early modern and modern periods. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online is updated with newly commissioned articles, illustrations, multimedia, and primary source material. 

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Zilkha Family

(395 words)

Author(s): Reeva Spector Simon
As Baghdad reemerged into prominence during the OttomanTanzimat period in the nineteenth century, the  Zilkha family developed business interests that eventually extended to Europe, the United States, and Asia. In addition, they contributed to the reinvigoration of the city’s Jewish religious life with the establishment of the Midrash Bet Zilkha , a rabbinical seminary, and a synagogue named for Ezra ha-Cohen Zilkha. Khedouri Zilkha (1884–1956), the only son of the textile merchant Aboudi Zilkha, was the founder the Zilkha Bankin Baghdad. After a brief period in Turkey, w…


(6 words)

Author(s): Meira Polliack
see Dhimma Meira Polliack

Zionism Among Sephardi/Mizraḥi Jewry

(13,800 words)

Author(s): Avi Davidi | Norman A. Stillman | Jacob M. Landau | Zvi Yehuda | Aksel Erbahar
1. General introduction The 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


(302 words)

Author(s): Rachel Simon
Zliten lies on the Mediterranean coast about 93 miles (150 kilometers) east of Tripoli, Libya. Little is known about the town’s Jewish community before the eighteenth century, but it numbered more than seven hundred in the twentieth. Most of the local Jews were craftsmen, peddlers, and small merchants, but there were a few wealthy traders and moneylenders. In the late nineteenth century Zliten’s Jews were involved in the processing and exporting of esparto grass for paper production. Zliten is famous for the Bu-Shayf synagogue, the focus of numerous miracle tales and a pilgri…