<i>Last Century</i> of a Sephardic Community - The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943.
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The Sephardic Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943. A web companion to a new history.

Original portrait of Monastir

In the opening pages of Last Century the reader is treated to a groundbreaking portrait of Monastir in the mid-19th century. The first chapter is based on rare first-hand accounts of Monastir recorded by travelers of the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s, who almost unanimously agreed that Monastir was an exciting, prosperous, and colorful Ottoman city.

This portrait of Monastir received scholarly recognition for its original contribution when it was published in The Turkish Studies Association Bulletin (Fall 2000), a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Groundbreaking depiction of 1863 fire

One of the the more exciting new stories uncovered in Last Century is the first reliable account of the 1863 fire, which destroyed Monastir's Jewish quarter and helped change the course of Monastir´s Jewish life.

Working from the original 1863 correspondence of Great Britain´s consulate in Monastir, and the minute books of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Last Century offers details such as the number of Jewish houses destroyed, the number of Jewish families made homeless, and the role played by the Jews of London in helping the Monastir Jews.

A paper based on this research has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Journal of Jewish Studies.

Arrival of Alliance schools

One of the most important cultural influences among the Sephardic communities of the Ottoman Balkans during the late 19th century was the Alliance Israélite Universelle. This Paris-based Jewish organization supported the formation of secular Jewish schools, and in these schools taught the French language and the spread the influence of European culture.

Monastir had Alliance schools for boys and girls, and in Last Century readers will learn for the first time of the Monastirlis´ early interest in the Alliance, the names of many of Monastir´s Alliance members, the arrival of the schools, and the ways that the Alliance altered Jewish life in Monastir.

Indispensable history

As an original, documented history of a model Sephardic community, Last Century is an indispensable resource both for descendants of the Monastir Jews, and for anyone interested in the history of the Sephardim.


<i>Last Century</i> of a Sephardic Community - The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943.

Last Century of a Sephardic Community - The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943.
by Mark Cohen

LIST PRICE: $34.95


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