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Old December 17th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #61
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Jews in Pakistan

Jews in Pakistan
Jews (Urdu: یہودی pronounced "Yehudi") are a very small religious group of Pakistan. Various estimates suggest that there were about 2,500 Jews living in Karachi at the beginning of the twentieth century, a smaller community in Peshawar and an undisclosed number scattered elsewhere throughout the country in various urban centers. There were synagogues in both cities and reportedly the one in Peshawar still exists. According to the 1881 census, there were 153 Jews in Sindh province. By 1919, this figure had risen to about 650. Before 1947 there were about 2,500 Jews living in the Sindh province of and most of them lived in Karachi. Most of these Jews were Baghdadi Jews.

A variety of associations existed to serve the Jewish community in Pakistan such as:

* Young Man's Jewish Association: It was founded in 1903 and whose aim was to encourage sports as well as religious and social activities of the Bene Israel in Karachi.

* Karachi Bene Israel Relief Fund: Established to support poor Jews in Karachi

* Karachi Jewish Syndicate: Formed in 1918 and whose aim was to provide homes to poor Jews at reasonable rents.

In Karachi, the Magain Shalome Synagogue was built in 1893 at Jamila Street and Nishtar Road junction by Shalome Solomon Umerdekar and his son Gershone Solomon (other accounts suggest that it was built by Solomon David, a surveyor for the Karachi Municipality Board and his wife Sheeoolabai, although these may be different names for the same people). The synagogue soon became the center of a small but vibrant Jewish community, one of whose leaders, Abraham Reuben, became a councilor on the city corporation in 1936.

Apart from the Bene Israel and the Baghdadi Jews, the two most prominent Pakistani Jewish communities, Bukharan Jews (also found in neighboring Afghanistan) also formed a small community in the northern city of Peshawar in the Northwest Frontier Province. Peshawar was served by two synagogues.

Some Jews migrated to India at the time of independence but reportedly some 2,000 remained, most of them Bene Yisrale (or Bene Israel) Jews observing Sephardic Jewish rites. The first real exodus from Pakistan came soon after the creation of Israel in 1948, which triggered multiple incidents of violence against Jews in Pakistan including the synagogue in Karachi being set to fire. The Karachi synagogue became the site of anti-Israel demonstrations, and the Pakistani Jews the subject of public mistrust. More attacks on Jews occurred after the Arab-Israeli wars of 1956 and 1967. Though they were always seen as Pakistanis first, many organizations more often than not, funded by Saudi Arabia, began publishing articles and protesting against this previously well integrated community. Ayub Khan's era saw the near-disappearance of the Pakistani Jewry. The vast majority left the country, many to Israel, but some to the United States or the United Kingdom. The small Jewish community in Peshawar ceased to exist by the 1960s, and both synagogues were closed. By 1968, the Jewish population in Pakistan had decreased to only 250 people and almost all of them were living in Karachi and were being served by one synagogue. Pakistan did not establish relations with Israel out of Muslim solidarity with Arab states. Efforts to separate the political stance against Zionism vs Jews as a people have often been undermined by orthodox and often illiterate hardliner organizations operating within the country and most often financed and supported by Saudi Arabia.

In his address as chair of the Second Islamic Summit in 1974, Prime Minister Z. A. Bhutto asserted: “To Jews as Jews we bear no malice; to Jews as Zionists, intoxicated with their militarism and reeking with technological arrogance, we refuse to be hospitable.” Magen Shalome, Karachi’s last synagogue, was demolished in the 1980s to make way for a shopping plaza.

A tiny Jewish community still remains in Karachi, Pakistan. Most of the Baghdadi Jews from Karachi now live in Ramla, Israel and built a synagogue they named Magen Shalome after the Pakistani Synagogue. Most Pakistani Jews are often mistaken for Parsis (Pakistanis belonging to the Zoroastrian faith.)

Recent Developments
Developments in the Middle East peace process such as the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza strip led to the first high level meeting between Israeli and Pakistani foreign ministers. The foreign ministers of both countries met publicly for the first time in Istanbul, a diplomatic breakthrough brokered by Turkey. President Musharraf has also praised and thanked the Jewish community in the United States for its solidarity and support for victims of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.

Magain Shalome Synagogue

Nobody speaks more passionately than Rabbi Simon Altaf on Israel. He is fearless to speak about this nation even in an Islamic republic of Pakistan

Shantinagar Seminar - Christian/Jewish Debate....

Sialkot Synagogue - Under Construction (Nov 2007)

Outside the Synagogue the chief builder standing in the middle

Aaliyah in discussion with the local ladies

Rabbi Simon about to take the teaching session

Commencing with prayer

Bringing the flock under the Tallit for prayer facing Jerusalem

Rabbi Simon anoniting the Menorah and Dice

خرد کو غلامی سے آزاد کر ... جوانوں کو پیروں کا اُستاد کر

Last edited by cntower; December 17th, 2008 at 08:45 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #62
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Kraków - Poland

Synagoga Izaaka Jakubowicza (1644)

Synagoga Stara (XV c.)

Synagoga Kupa (~1640)

Synagoga Poppera (1620)

Synagoga Remuh (1556)

Synagoga Tempel (1860-1862)

more: http://krakow.jewish.org.pl/index.php?pl=galerie&lang=
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Old December 17th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #63
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The history of the Jewish Community in Manila, Philippines begins with the Spanish Inquisition of the 16th century, when many Jews of Spain, who were forcibly converted to Christianity, observed their Jewish life in secret and found themselves tried, convicted, and expelled for heretical behavior. Known as Marranos or "New Christians," these Crypto-Jews accompanied Spanish adventurers who settled in many Far Eastern ports, Manila included. Two "New Christian" brothers, Jorge and Domingo Rodríguez, arrived in the Spanish Philippines in the 1590s. By 1593 both were tried and convicted at an auto da fe in Mexico City because the Inquisition did not have an independent tribunal in the Philippines. The Inquisition imprisoned the Rodríguez brothers and subsequently tried and convicted at least eight other "New Christians" from the Philippines. Such was the precarious status of Jewish settlers in the Philippines. Jewish presence during the subsequent centuries of Spanish colonization remained small and unorganized. Spanish Christianized laws would not have permitted the presence of an organized Jewish community.

The first permanent settlement of Jews in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial years began with the arrival of three Levy brothers from Alsace-Lorraine, who were escaping the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 04:42 PM   #64
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Wow! Pakistan! This is really interesting!!! Philippines as well.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 11:36 AM   #65
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Really glad to see a synagogue under construction in Sialkot

Infact, it's probably been completed since those pictures are over a year old. I love diversity, and wish there were more Jews in Pakistan.
Bahria Icon Tower[PK] Motorways & Highways
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Old December 21st, 2008, 11:38 AM   #66
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Interesting thread...
Urban Showcase: Athens Kalamata Trikala Thessaloniki
Cityscapes: Paris Barcelona Dubai, U.A.E. Monte Carlo, Monaco
General photography: Castles of France - Chateau de France and, since May of '08: Greece!
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Old December 24th, 2008, 04:41 AM   #67
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The banner in some of the pics from Pakistan say "Benni Yeshua," which means "Sons of Jesus" making these people Christians not Jews. Interesting post though.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Elkhanan1 View Post
The banner in some of the pics from Pakistan say "Benni Yeshua," which means "Sons of Jesus" making these people Christians not Jews. Interesting post though.
I know, it does translate into "Sons of Jesus" but it was a conference between Christians and Jewish communities. The building under construction though is a Synagogue.
خرد کو غلامی سے آزاد کر ... جوانوں کو پیروں کا اُستاد کر
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Old January 21st, 2009, 04:18 AM   #69
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image hosted on flickr

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"I'm going to bet you that when we're done --- I don't know when that will be --- historians will identify this as the most significant and rapid transformation of an American city.'' Former Miami City Commissioner Johnny Winton 05/22/2005

My photo threads:

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Old February 8th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #70
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I took these when I visited San Antonio, Texas in the summer of 2006.

Last edited by Mexicola; February 8th, 2009 at 11:26 AM.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 05:59 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Skyline_FFM View Post
Zionists would not live in Iran. But Jewish life is normal as well as the life of the Armenian Christians. They are protected by law since they are monotheist religions. Other religions such as Zoroastrians or Baha'i are persecuted or at least repressed...
zoroastrianism and bahaism are both monotheist aswell

zoroastrianism is hated on a bit by officials since its a pre islamic persian religion which officials dont like to deal much

bahais are the only persecuted ones as the officials claim they have emerged after islam making it not acceptable in terms of islam
See TEHRAN, The Capital of IRAN
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Old May 7th, 2012, 09:59 AM   #72
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interesting and informative thread, thanks for sharing..
Bacolod: "Culinary destination par excellence"
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Old May 7th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #73
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Old May 8th, 2012, 01:45 AM   #74
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Excellent pictures. !
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Old May 8th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #75
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This is a very interesting thread
EUROPE - many states - one nation

Aarhus - the second largest city in Denmark

Aarhus...my Aarhus
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