Sephardic Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943. A web companion
to a new history.
portrait of Monastir
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.
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
depiction of 1863 fire
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.
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.
paper based on this research has been accepted for publication
in the prestigious Journal of Jewish Studies.
of Alliance schools
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
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.
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.