Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa

Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa

Edited by Emily Benichou Gottreich and Daniel J. Schroeter
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Format: Paperback 9 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22225-1
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With only a small remnant of Jews still living in the Maghrib at the beginning of the 21st century, the vast majority of today's inhabitants of North Africa have never met a Jew. Yet as this volume reveals, Jews were an integral part of the North African landscape from antiquity. Scholars from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, and the United States shed new light on Jewish life and Muslim-Jewish relations in North Africa through the lenses of history, anthropology, language, and literature. The history and life stories told in this book illuminate the close cultural affinities and poignant relationships between Muslims and Jews, and the uneasy coexistence that both united and divided them throughout the history of the Maghrib.

Author Bio

Emily Benichou Gottreich is Vice Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Adjunct Associate Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California Berkeley. She is author of The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City (IUP, 2006).

Daniel J. Schroeter is the Amos S. Denard Memorial Chair in Jewish History and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is author of The Sultan's Jew: Morocco and the Sephardi World and Merchants of Essaouira.


“Worldwide scholars shed new light on Jewish life and Muslim-Jewish relations in North Africa through the lenses of history, anthropology, language, and literature, illuminating close cultural affinities, poignant relationships, and uneasy coexistence that both united and divided.”

“Opening new avenues for research on the Jews of the Maghrib, this volume is an important contribution to both Jewish studies and Maghrib studies. . . . [It] raises a whole range of questions about how we might rethink modern Jewish history.”
 — Matthias Lehmann, author of Ladino Rabbinic Literature and Ottoman Sephardic Culture

“[This] volume as a whole demonstrates the ways in which both Jewish studies and Maghrib studies are emerging from their historic marginalization and into broader discussions of regional history.March 2013”
 — Journal of African History

“[T]his collection goes a long way to increasing our understanding of North African Jewish history and encourages new lines of inquiry into the subject.”
 — Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online

“[This] is a highly informative and thought-provoking collection of essays, from which the reader is certain to derive satisfaction and knowledge of a region made all the more significant in light of the revolutionary changes that have taken place in North Africa since the spring of 2011.”
 — AJL Reviews

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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
1. Emily Benichou Gottreich and Daniel J. Schroeter, Rethinking Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa
2. Mohammed Kenbib, Muslim-Jewish Relations in Contemporary Morocco

Part II: Origins, Diasporas, and Identities
3. Farid Benramdane, Place Names in Western Algeria: Biblical Sources and Dominant Semantic Domains
4. Mabrouk Mansouri, The Image of the Jews among Ibadi Imazighen in North Africa until the Tenth Century
5. Abdellah Larhmaid, Jewish Identity and Landownership in the Sous Region of Morocco
6. Aomar Boum, Southern Moroccan Jewry between the Colonial Manufacture of Knowledge and the Postcolonial Historiographical Silence
7. Yaron Tsur, Dating the Demise of the Western-Sephardi Jewish Diaspora:
The Mediterranean Aspect

Part III: Communities, Cultural Exchange and Transformations
8. Philippe Barbé, Jewish-Muslim Syncretism and Intercommunity Cohabitation in the work of Albert Memmi: The Partage of Tunis
9. Susan Gilson Miller, Making Tangier Modern: Ethnicity and Urban Development, 1880-1930
10. Stacy E. Holden, Muslim and Jewish Interaction in Moroccan Meat Markets, 1873-1912
11. Saddek Benkada, A Moment in Sephardi History: The Re-establishment of the Jewish Community of Oran, 1792-1831
12. Hadj Miliani, Crosscurrents: Trajectories of Algerian Jewish Artists and Men of Culture since the End of the Nineteenth Century

Part IV: Between Myth and History: Sol Hachuel in Moroccan Jewish Memory
13. Yaelle Azagury, Sol Hachuel in the Collective Memory and Folktales of Moroccan Jews
14. Sharon Vance, Sol Hachuel, ‘Heroine of the Nineteenth Century’: Gender, the Jewish Question, and Colonial Discourse
15. Ruth Knafo Setton, Searching for Suleika: A Writer’s Journey

Part V: Gender, Colonialism, and the Alliance Israélite Universelle
16. Joy A. Land, Corresponding Lives: Women Educators of the Alliance Israélite Universelle in Tunisia, 1882-1914
17. Keith Walte

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