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The Iraqi Jews – The Oldest Diaspora, Now Safe in Israel
by Norman Berdichevsky (February 2012)
In the December issue of NER, I wrote the first article (on the Yemenites) of a planned 8 part series to examine that segment of Israeli Jewish society that is often neglected or misrepresented – the Oriental or Eastern communities, sometimes referred to as the Mizrahim and Sephardim, constituting at least 50% of the total Jewish population (as they do in France as well) in contrast to less than 5% in the United States (see “Edot Hamizrach” Israel’s Oriental Jewish Communities, New English Review, August, 2009). The simple consequence of this, is that many American Jewish spokespersons when commenting on what they believe are traditional “Jewish” customs, values, traditions, social mores, political behavior, food, music, dress, humor, language, and heritage are often remote from the realities they find when visiting Israel. more>>>