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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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Index Abitbol, Michel, 101, 194 Abulafia, Raphael, 132 Aciman, André, 40 Advisory Committee for Legislation, 106–107 Aghion, Behor, 59 Aghion, Itzhak, 59 Ahmad, ‘Abbas, 84 Al-’Alam al-Isra’ili, 149, 190–191, 196, 205 Aleppo, 75–76, 79, 109 Alexandria attraction of to immigrants, 28 cosmopolitanism of, 34, 61 diversity of, 5, 29 emergence as leading port city, 5–6 foreign colony in, 7, 29–30, 38, 39 incorporation in industrial economy, 56 infrastructure, 27 Jewish community in (see Alexandria, Jewish community in) national consciousness of, 35 population, composition of, 29–30 population growth, 3, 29, 45–46 as refuge, 46 renaissance of, 45 schools in, 58 synagogues in, 58 trade volume of, 26, 27 see also port cities, Mediterranean Alexandria, Jewish community in adoption of communal statutes, 56 attempts to reform, 58 autonomy of, 60 class in, 46–47 commercial activity of, 48–49 demographic changes in, 45 diversity of, 56 ethnicity of, 46 foreign protection of, 55, 60 growth of, 46, 56, 57, 61 interference of European Jews in, 55 leadership of, 55, 57 organization of, 56, 57 philanthropy of, 58–60 renewal of Jewish life in, 2 wealth of, 48, 207 Alfandari, Ibrahim, 90 Algeria, 101 ‘Ali Bey, 48 Alliance Israélite Universelle activities of, 141 appeal of, 124, 163 Bounoure on, 162 effects of in Izmir, 61 in formal organization, 97–98 goals of, 98 opposition to Jewish nationalism, 156, 163 ideology of, 82, 126, 149 limited impact of, 89 methods of, 130 The Jews of Beirut...

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