Baltimore Museum Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage

The Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore has created a special display honoring Iraqi Jewish heritage, available through January 15th, 2018. Filled with meticulously restored documents and artifacts, these precious items are some of the last remnants of the once-thriving Jewish communities of Baghdad.

With over 130,000 members at its peak, it was destroyed by extreme violence and prejudice, forced deportations, and mass voluntary immigration to Israel after the modern State was created in 1948. In 2003, the last synagogue closed and only ten Jews remain in Baghdad today!

The exhibit is called “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage,” and it contains about two dozen items, including books, calendars, school and organization records, bibles, a Haggadah and fragments of a Torah.

I am so impressed that the museum made so much effort to recognize this unique community’s history. Within a few short years—maybe even this year!—the final handful of Iraqi Jews will die off and could easily be forgotten otherwise.

5 thoughts on “Baltimore Museum Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage

  1. Ellen Beck

    I really enjoy reading your posts. This one and the one before it was great. I had no clue there were Jewish people in Iraq although when I thought about it, it does make sense. It is a sad thing that history had to be erased like that when they fled. It is sad they couldnt go back. It is nice there is a place remembering and preserving their heritage. Through remembering the past we hopefully wont make the same mistakes in the future.
    Thank you for always educating me. In our town, unless someone tells you they are Jewish, I guess we dont know. So your blog has given me more insight about a culture that is old and wise.

    1. The Jewish Lady Post author

      I really appreciate your comments – always so insightful! I try to share Jewish news that interests me and hopefully others as well. Iraq, at one time, had a thriving community. Jews from the Middle East and Africa are called Sephardic. Jews from Eastern Europe are called Ashkenazi. That’s where most American Jews come from (me included). The two groups are very different in looks, language, customs, and culture. The Sephardic community, being less well known here, doesn’t get as much attention which I find sad!

      As for not knowing someone is Jewish, that’s very common outside metro areas and I hear it all the time.

Comments are closed.