MembersA Glimpse Into Israel’s Libyan Jewish Community

“These are the steps toward the coming of Messiah…”

By Rachel Avraham | | Topics: diaspora
Photo: Jimena

Although there are no Jews left in Libya today, this majority Arab country once had a thriving Jewish community dating back to 323 BCE. However, after a great pogrom in 1945 killed over 140 Jews and led to the looting of almost all of the country’s synagogues, and subsequent riots in 1948 killed 12 Jews and destroyed 280 Jewish homes, former Israel Consul-General Dr. Yitzhak Ben Gad noted in an exclusive interview with Israel Today, “90% of Libya’s Jews immigrated to Israel.”

Soon after the Six Day War and Muammar Gaddafi’s rise to power, the situation of Libya’s Jews deteriorated further, thus leading to the exodus of the entire Libyan Jewish community. One can find Libyan Jews in many places outside of Libya today: “Some of them are in Ashkelon, some of them are in Bat Yam, some of them are in Northern and Southern Israel, but most are in Netanya.”

 

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