Images of North African Jewry

The Yale Library North African Jewish Collection With the acquisition of manuscripts from North Africa over the last ten years, the Yale library is becoming a center for the study of North African Jewry. The library’s holdings include manuscripts from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The heart of the collection, however, is the material relating to the Jews of Morocco. Moroccan Jewry was and still is the largest and most influential in the region. It has a long and illustrious history that goes back to Greco/Roman times and over the centuries the community produced many noted scholars, rabbis, poets, men of commerce, and statesmen. The Jewish population is composed of groups indigenous to the region and Jews that immigrated to Morocco from Spain and Portugal. While Jewish life has ceased to exist in most Muslim countries, Morocco still has an active Jewish community. The collection contains documents from all the major centers of Jewish life in Morocco. These include Casablanca, Fez, Marrakesh, Mogador (also known as Essaouira), Meknes, Rabat, Sefrou, Tetuan and Tangier. There is also material from smaller and less well-known towns and villages. The documents are in Hebrew, Arabic, Judeo-Arabic, Ladino, French and Spanish. The collection consists of documents from the late 16th to the mid-twentieth centuries. They consist of rabbinic documents concerning such issues as marriage, divorce, property and inheritance. In addition, there are manuscripts of poetry, liturgy and other subjects that remain to be studied and identified. We hope that you enjoy this exhibit of facsimiles of documents from the collection coupled with photos depicting scenes of Jewish life in North Africa.

Maps of Morocco and the Mediterranean.

Click on images for expanded gallery view and captions.

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