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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Switzerland

(695 words)

Author(s): Brigitte Sion
The eighteen thousand Jews of Switzerland represent about 0.2 percent of the total population. Swiss Jewry has always been overwhelmingly Ashkenazi, but immigration of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East has changed the shape of the communities of Geneva and Lausanne in the French-speaking part of the country. While a few Turkish Jews settled in these areas in the early twentieth century, significant numbers of Jews from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq arrived in the 1950s and 1960s. According to rough estimates, …

Synagogues in the Islamic World

(4,783 words)

Author(s): David Cassuto | Mohammad Gharipour
Very little has been written about early synagogues in the Muslim world, whether in the Mediterranean basin, Central Asia, or the Far East. Unlike the West, where the culture was based on stone architecture that lasted for many centuries, and where some relatively ancient structures have survived to this day, building in the Middle East and North Africa was based on wood, bricks, and soft cement materials that did not stand up to the ravages of time. Consequently, synagogues in these countries f…
Date: 2014-09-03

Syria

(7,961 words)

Author(s): Marina Rustow | Moshe Ma'oz
1. Medieval Geography and Nomenclature In medieval texts in Arabic and Judeo-Arabic, Syria is called al-Shām. Geographical works of the period define the region as falling between the Euphrates River and the Mediterranean Sea north to the Taurus Mountains and south to the Gulf of Aqaba (modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan), but in practice, the southern desert region was principally a thoroughfare for nomads and pilgrims to Mecca, and the northern border with Byzantium was…