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The Jews of Beirut

The Rise of a Levantine Community, 1860s-1930s

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Tomer Levi

The Jews of Beirut: The Rise of a Levantine Community, 1860s-1930s is the first study to investigate the emergence of an organized and vibrant Jewish community in Beirut in the late Ottoman and French period. Viewed in the context of port city revival, the author explores how and why the Jewish community changed during this time in its social cohesion, organizational structure, and ideological affiliations. Tomer Levi defines the Jewish community as a «Levantine» creation of late-nineteenth-century port city revival, characterized by cultural and social diversity, centralized administration, efficient organization, and a merchant class engaged in commerce and philanthropy. In addition, the author shows how the position of the Jewish community in the unique multi-community structure of Lebanese society affected internal developments within the Jewish community.

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List of Tables ix

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Tables 1 Shipping Tonnage Entering Main Ottoman Ports, 1830–1913 ... 26 2 European Communities in Alexandria ........................................ 29 3 Izmir’s Population in the Late Nineteenth Century ................... 31 4 Beirut’s Population ........................................................................ 32 5 Children in Foreign Schools in Alexandria, 1878........................ 41 6 Beirut’s Jewish Population ........................................................... 77 7 Revenues of Talmud-Torah School .............................................179 8 Revenues of Mattan-Basseter ........................................................181 9 Annual Revenues of Community Institutions ...........................182 10 Percentage of Voluntary Donations ............................................184 11 Contributions in Synagogues ......................................................188

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