Reviving Lebanon’s Jewish Community
Though it pleases me to post, that Lebanese Expatriates are helping to fund and renovate the ancient Magen Abraham synagogue in the heart of the Lebanese capital, one of the largest in the Arab world. Renovation is expected by the end of this year or by 2009.
In the capital, along the former demarcation line between the Muslim and Christian areas, another vestige survives: the Jewish cemetery.
The Jews of Lebanon, a highly active Lebanese blog, seeks to raise the awareness of the Jewish community and to make it an active participant in public life.
Before the (1975-1990) civil war, there were about 22,000 Lebanese Jews; Today, there are about 300 Lebanese Jews currently residing in Lebanon.
Efraim, a merchant and a member of the Jewish Council in Lebanon, the community’s official authority, says one of the annoyances is living in a country where mixing the terms “Jewish” and “Israeli” is common.
“People still occasionally ask me if I am Israeli,“
To him, “that’s exactly as if we used the term Iranians to describe Lebanese Shiites.”
“After 1982, very few Jews went to Israel, and those who did, didn’t stay long. They felt deeply Lebanese. Many Lebanese Jewish expatriates, mostly emigrating to the west, still have land and do not want to sell, because it would be like selling a part of themselves“.
Filed under: Lebanese Expatriates, Strictly Lebanese | 7 Comments
Tags: Lebanese Jews, Magen Abraham, Synagogue, Wadi Abu Jmil