By Tomer Levi

The Jews of Beirut: the increase of a Levantine neighborhood, 1860s-1930s is the 1st learn to enquire the emergence of an prepared and colourful Jewish group in Beirut within the past due Ottoman and French interval. considered within the context of port urban revival, the writer explores how and why the Jewish group replaced in this time in its social solidarity, organizational constitution, and ideological affiliations. Tomer Levi defines the Jewish neighborhood as a «Levantine» construction of late-nineteenth-century port urban revival, characterised through cultural and social range, centralized management, effective association, and a service provider category engaged in trade and philanthropy. additionally, the writer exhibits how the location of the Jewish neighborhood within the targeted multi-community constitution of Lebanese society affected inner advancements in the Jewish group.

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Extra info for The Jews of Beirut : the rise of a Levantine community, 1860s-1930s

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1 As a consequence, thousands of people from the eastern Mediterranean, particularly from Mount Lebanon and the Syrian interior, migrated to the city which offered security, economic, and educational opportunities. Among the many migrants, Beirut attracted numerous Jews from across the region. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, approximately one hundred Jews lived in Beirut. By 1920, their number had swelled to thirty-five hundred. As I will demonstrate in Chapter Three, the expanding community necessitated the creation and organization of new institutions.

In stark contrast, the impressive growth in the Jewish communities of Alexandria and Beirut was due to their political stability and economic booming. Derived from the Italian levare, to rise, the term ‘Levant’ was coined in the Middle Ages as part of the trade between the Italian city-states and the East. It referred to the lands on the eastern shore of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, in particular to the European-influenced port towns of Greece, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. Desanka Schwara, “Rediscovering the Levant: A Heterogeneous Structure as a Homogenous Historical Region,” European Review of History 10, no.

36 In Alexandria, for example, H. E. Barker, an important businessman, served as the head of the British community in the interwar period. If not formally so, the foreign communities were, in reality, independent business communities led by influential businessmen, and they maintained separate associations, like national chambers of commerce. 37 The rapid urban expansion and population growth in nineteenthcentury port cities meant that the various groups organized themselves in a highly fluid and constantly changing urban environment.

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