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Before The Deluge: Jews Of The Mediterranean Islands (Part II)


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Corfu had a rabbinical authority named David ben Chaim Ha-Cohen, who had been a student of Yehuda Minz of Padua and who directed a Talmudical high school on his native island. Joseph Immanuel Levi (19th century) published the newspaper Mose. Joseph Nahamali translated the siddur and Pirkei Avot into modern Greek and published the periodicals Chronica Israelitica and Famiglia Israelitica.

In 1899, the Greek-language “Israelitica Chronographos” was founded so that the Greeks could become acquainted with the world of Judaism. From Corfu came Lazar Belelli, who prepared a Hebrew-Greek lexicon of the Book of Genesis, and also Professor Darius Levi and the publisher Alexander Levi of Naples.

Next month: Malta and Chios

Ezra James Nollet is a retired U.S. government chemist living in Poland where he is officer of the local synagogue in Legnica. Before the Deluge appears monthly.

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About the Author: Ezra James Nollet is a retired U.S. government chemist living in Poland where he is officer of the local synagogue in Legnica. Before the Deluge appears the last week of each month.


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The Joint Distribution Committee cared for the refugees, directed the care of children, renewed educational facilities, undertook the rebuilding of destroyed houses, etc. Through the year 1930 the Joint Committee distributed over $80 million to the different branches of its relief work, and even distributed aid via affiliated charities to Jewish agricultural settlements in the USSR.

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The outward orderliness of the new circumstances of life was not without inner quakings of a spiritual crisis. Mixed marriages were extremely frequent in the southern and western states, where Jews were sprinkled in among the Christian populations. They came to about a third of the marriages Jews entered. But after 1881 the picture changed, with the flood of Jewish immigrants into New York. From 1908-1912, only 1.17 percent of marriages involving Jews were mixed.

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