This book explores the extraordinary differentiation of the Baghdadi Jewish community over time during their sojourn in India from the end of the eighteenth century until their dispersion to Indian diasporas in Israel and English-speaking countries throughout the world after India gained independence in 1947.
Chapters on schools, institutions and culture present how Baghdadis in India managed to maintain their communities by negotiating multiple identities in a stratified and complex society. Several disciplinary perspectives are utilized to explore the super-diversity of the Baghdadis and the ways in which they successfully adapted to new situations during the Raj, while retaining particular traditions and modifying and incorporating others. Providing a comprehensive overview of this community, the contributions to the book show that the legacy of the Baghdadi Jews lives on for Indians today through landmarks and monuments in Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata, and for Jews, through memories woven by members of the community residing in diverse diasporas.
Offering refreshing historical perspectives on the colonial period in India, this book will be of interest to those studying South Asian Studies, Diaspora and Ethnic Studies, Sociology, History, Jewish Studies and Asian Religion.
Table of Contents
Part I: Sociological and Historical Perspectives on the Baghdadi Jews under the Raj; 1 Super-diversity among the Baghdadi Jews of India, Shalva Weil; 2 Negotiating Identity in a Changing World: From British Colonialism to Indian Independence, Joan G. Roland; Part II: Diversified Religious Life; 3 The Baghdadi Synagogues of India: Their Design Roots, Aesthetic and History, Jay A. Waronker; 4 Music Traditions in the Baghdadi Jewish Communities of Bombay and Poona: Continuity, New Horizons, Sara Manasseh; Part III: The Baghdadis of Maharashtra: Formal and Informal Education; 5 Jewish Schools, Their Entrepreneurs and Their Educational Landscape in Bombay, Shaul Sapir; 6 Jewish Sports and Sectarianism in Pre-independence Bombay, Nathan Marcus; Part IV: The Baghdadis of Bengal: Formal and Informal Education; 7 Muslim Students in the Jewish Girls' School, Kolkata: A Changed Legacy, Jael Silliman; 8 Sport, Gender and Socialisation: The Experience of Jewish and Parsee Women in Colonial and Post-colonial Bengal, Suparna Ghosh Bhattacharya; Part V: Print and Digital Dissemination; 9 Jewish Press in India in Baghdadi Judeo-Arabic as an Indispensable Source for the History of Iraqi Jews in the Nineteenth Century, Zvi Yehuda; 10 Archival Cartographies: Multi-Layering Calcutta’s Baghdadi Jewish Histories, Jael Silliman
Shalva Weil is Senior Researcher at the Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and Research Fellow in the Department of Biblical Studies and Ancient Studies at the University of South Africa.