Tag: history

Book looks at Jewish taverns in Kingdom of Poland

Book Review: Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor, & Life in the Kingdom of Poland. By Glenn Dynner. Oxford University Press, 2014. Despite various expulsions, evictions and repressive tax measures meant to force them out of business, Jewish-run taverns were a ubiquitous presence in Poland from roughly the 17th to the late 19th centuries. Polish historians have often…

Fine telling of the Reichmann saga

◊ In light of the passing of Albert Reichmann in Toronto on December 17, 2022 at age 93, we bring your attention to this review of the most thorough biography of the Reichmann family, Anthony Bianco’s The Reichmanns: Family, Faith, Fortune and The Empire of Olympia & York.  As Brooklyn-based author Anthony Bianco chronicles in his…

The Baghdadi Jews of Bombay (Mumbai)

Book Review: Bombay: Exploring the Jewish Heritage, by Dr. Shaul Sapir. Large format, hardcover, 290 pages; full-colour interior, lavishly illustrated with large four-panel foldout map. $50. Published by Bene Israel Heritage Museum and Genealogical Research Centre, India, 2013.  There are four distinct historic Jewish communities in India — the Cochin or Malabar Jews, the Bene-Israel Jews,…

Baby born at sea amidst Ukrainian rescue

by Gaye Applebaum From the Canadian Jewish News, 1983 As the SS Hamilton Scandinavian docked at Quebec City on Aug. 21, 1921, a tremor of excitement surged through the rain-drenched crowd. On the ship’s deck huddled 108 frightened but excited Ukrainian Jewish children – all of them rescued war orphans from the devastated Polish Ukraine.…

More Jewish surnames (from Italy, France & Portugal)

From Avotaynu, 2020 Book Review: A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Italy, France and “Portuguese” Communities, by Alexander Beider. Like a Napoleon of names, Alexander Beider has been sweeping methodically across the Jewish diaspora seeking to apply a rigid scientific methodology to the naturally-occurring phenomenon of Jewish surnames. Beider has devoted more than three decades…

Sledgehammer: An ambassadorial account of the Abraham Accords

Book review: Sledgehammer: How Breaking With The Past Brought Peace To The Middle East, by David Friedman, former US Ambassador to Israel. HarperCollins, 2022. In Sledgehammer, lawyer-turned-ambassador David Friedman offers some excellent background to the important story of the Abraham Accords, which stand as the most significant development in Middle East peace since Israel’s treaties…

Silas Hardoon, richest man in Asia

­Silas Aaron Hardoon was born into a poor Jewish family in Baghdad in 1851, but when he died in Shanghai China 80 years later, he was regarded as the wealthiest man in Asia, leaving behind a fortune worth as much as $15 billion in today’s dollars. When Hardoon arrived in Shanghai as a youth of…

Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews (review)

Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews: A Collection of Biographical Reflections, by Maisie J. Meyer, author and editor. Large format, 480 pages, softcover. Blacksmith Books, Hong Kong, 2015. Shanghai’s community of Ashkenazic Jews, who arrived from Poland and elsewhere in Europe in the early 20th century and in advance of the Holocaust, is already fairly well-known. What is…

The Most Tenacious of Minorities: the Jews of Italy (review)

Review: The Most Tenacious of Minorities: The Jews of Italy, by Sara Reguer. Hardcover, 190 pages. Boston: published by Academic Studies Press, 2013. www. academicstudiespress.com The Jews have been booted out of so many places during their history, it seems only natural that they should have a long and colourful past in the Italian “boot.”…

A Moravian Tax List of 1808

The Neu-Raussnitz Tax Book by Dr. Heinrich Flesch, translated, adapted and with an introduction by Patrick Gordis & Henry Wellisch Some 90 years ago, a Moravian rabbi and historian, Dr. Heinrich Flesch (1875-1942), annotated a list of Jews from Neu-Raussnitz, Moravia, who paid taxes in 1808, then used the annotated list as a basis for a…