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Salonica (Thessaloniki; Selanik)

(8,712 words)

Author(s): Minna Rozen
1.  Origins and Glory Days, 1430–1595 The Jewish community of pre-Ottoman Salonica was mostly Greek-speaking, and its life-style was much the same as that of the city’s Greek Christian residents. The Ottoman conquest of Salonica in 1430 did little to change this. With the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, however, Sultan Mehmet II ordered all the Jewish residents of Salonica moved to his new capital as part of the sürgün programof population transfers. As a result, there were in all likelihood no Jews at all in Salonica between 1453 and 1492, since none …

Sephardim/Sephardi Jews in the Ottoman Empire

(5,815 words)

Author(s): Minna Rozen
1.Definition The term Sephardim refers to descendants of the Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula who settled in many parts of the world and maintained various characteristics of their identity as well as a sense of affinity to a greater “Sephardi Nation” worldwide. The typical characteristics of the group are the use of the Judeo-Spanish language (the vernacular called Judezmo, the written language called Ladino); adherence to the Sephardi liturgy and rites, and to certain legal rules and pra…