Although his books are not as well known in the English-speaking world as in the French, the death of Andre Chouraqui, Algerian-born author, historian and lawyer on 9 July, is a great loss to North African Jewry. Here is what Aimee Kligman of the Women’s Lens blog posted about him:
Born in Algeria in 1917, he obtained his law doctorate in France in 1948. Settled in Jerusalem in 1958. In the period 1959-1963, he served as advisor to David Ben-Gurion on how to best integrate the Jews from African countries into Israel. He was elected Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem in 1965, and was in charge of cultural affairs.
He is best known for his writings; he translated the bible and authored several books. In 2001, he said: “Let us bring the Hebrew Bible, the Greek New Testament and the Arab Koran back to what they originally stood for: peace and reconciliation. Let Jerusalem at last become the model capital for universal peace, as the prophets of the three religions stemming from Abraham had always dreamt.”
His biography, originally published in 1984, “A Man In Three Worlds” is available on Amazon.Com, translated from the French. I couldn’t resist looking for some of the other materials he wrote, and I did find two more that should provide fascinating reading. They are: Letter to an Arab Friend, 1972, co-written with William V. Gugli and
Between East & West – A History of the Jews of North Africa, 1968