A Snapshot of Jewish Salonica before Its Destruction

On the eve of World War II, Jews accounted for some 40 percent of the population of Salonica; in earlier times, they had constituted an absolute majority of the city’s inhabitants. Most of Salonica’s Jews were Sephardi and Ladino-speaking, descended from exiles from Spain who came to the Ottoman empire in the 16th century. In her recent book, Sarah Abrevaya Stein reconstructs the lives of a Salonican Jewish family named Levy in the 19th and 20th centuries, based on their correspondence and other papers. Like most of the other Jews of that city, almost the entire family was murdered in the Holocaust. Stein here shares a vignette of one of her subjects:

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Read more at Los Angeles Review of Books

More about: Greece, Ottoman Empire, Sephardim, Thessaloniki, World War I

Iran’s Attack on an Israeli Ship Is a Diplomatic Opportunity

March 1 2021

Today Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed that the explosions that blew two holes in an Israeli-owned cargo ship on Friday were the work of Iran. The incident was followed by airstrikes on military targets in the vicinity of Damascus, likely carried out by the IDF—which might have been retaliation, but might also have been routine attempts to curtail the Iranian military buildup in Syria. But irrespective of its military response, Yoav Limor urges Jerusalem to act diplomatically as well:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, US-Israel relations