Beyond Iraq: The Making of a Global “Baghdadi” Jewish Network

Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah, Leiden University

This paper proposes some examples of the relationship between the Jewish community of Iraq with Baghdadi Jews on the Indian sub-continent and in East Asia during the first half of the twentieth century. I suggest that when we think about Iraqi Jewry vis-à-vis communal identity construction, it is of interest to consider them as part of a larger global Baghdadi community. Whereas many recent works have considered how Jews in Iraq identified with the Iraqi nation and its citizens of all confessions, this paper considers how Iraqi Jews identified as part of a Jewish community through their relationships with family and friends who lived abroad and identified as Baghdadi. Baghdadi identity was articulated by secular and religious leadership inside and outside of Iraq, and on a more informal level was reinforced through familial, economic, and social ties. As such, this article aims to bring to the forefront chosen migration and the importance of the Baghdadi Diaspora.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 109. Rethinking the Jewish Exodus from Arab Countries: A Network Perspective