Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943

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9781886857063: Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943
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It was 1839, a time when European ideas on education, fashion, entertainment, and politics were infiltrating every aspect of life in the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Sephardim, descendants of the Spanish Jews exiled in 1492, were about to undergo vast changes in their education, outlook, and family life. In Monastir, a series of fires initiated these changes early and dramatically. A century later, in 1939, the Second World War began and the Monastir Jews faced extinction. Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943, is the first book to tell this dramatic story.  It also presents, for the first time, rare photographs and illustrations, original translations of Monastir's Sephardic folklore, and a complete listing of the Monastir Jews who were deported to the Treblinka concentration camp.

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"This lovely book provides a welcome glimpse into a world once vibrant and now tragically lost. Through the use of unpublished archival documentation, rare illustrations and photographs, and original translations of Monastirli folklore, Cohen presents a fascinating story of the Monastir Jews' traditional culture, their Westernization, and destruction in the Holocaust. Last Century offers a portrait of a hitherto neglected Jewish culture that is a pleasure to read." Sarah Abrevaya Stein, University of Washington, Seattle

About the Author:

Mark Cohen was born in New York and was raised in an extended Sephardic family. He graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and his writing has appeared in newspapers and scholarly publications, including The Los Angeles Times, the Daily News, The Forward, American Jewish History, History of Photography, and Turkish Studies Bulletin. He has been a featured speaker on Sephardic history at New York's Center for Jewish History, Indiana University, California State University, Northridge, and numerous synagogues, Jewish community libraries, and JCCs. Cohen lives in Northern California.

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