Many Kurdish Jews died during their 1950 exodus

The Iraqi Jewish Archives have revealed interesting details about the exodus of  Kurdish Jews from Iraq, according to amateur historian Sami Sourani, who helped translate documents from Arabic.
A family of Kurdish Jews airlifted to Israel
The Kurdish Jews  had to travel down to Baghdad in order to join the airlift to Cyprus and on to Israel.
During their exodus from Iraq during 1950 -1, the Baghdad Jewish community took charge of the welfare of the 18,000 Kurdish Jews who passed through the capital. It had to request a special budget to bury the many elderly Kurdish Jews who  died in Baghdad.
According to Sami Sourani, who volunteeered to translate some files, the  Baghdad Jewish community stepped up to the challenge of caring for the refugees during their short stay at the Massouda Shemtov synagogue.
The community took on the responsibility of feeding the refugees. The cook was Shalom Saleh who was  hanged in January 1952 together with Yousef Basri on charges of Zionism.
Saleh worked very hard to feed the Kurdish arrivals. A ladies’ committee boiled 100 eggs a day.
The Community appointed a rabbi to take care of  the Kurdish refugees.  Some of the very old who could not stand the warm weather of Baghdad and passed away. To their credit,  the Jewish community of Baghdad made sure that the dead were buried with dignity, regardless of their financial situation.  This was done by the Hebra Kadisha – the Burial Society. The rabbi in charge wrote a letter to the Rabbanut of Baghdad asking for a special budget to buy cloth for shrouds.
The rabbi wrote that the dead people were so numerous, he could not afford to buy shrouds. He told how he was working every day until midnight just to talk to the refugees and deal with their welfare. Sometimes  he had to buy them material using his own money. He requested a raise in his salary  –  about eight dinar per month, at that time. The Rabbanut responded favourably and he got what he wanted.


More from Sami Sourani:


  • Also more of Jews people were live in singar mountain south of Iraq ((Jidalla village ,Wardiay and singar city)) before 100years ago all of them migration to out of Iraq but them old houses ,graves and castle are still surviving also old people always saying them story they say that Jews people discerned more than other people in blacksmith and commerce.


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