History’s Ultimate Nomads / Tunisia

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Ever since their exodus out of Egypt, Jews have wandered through regions, countries and continents, emerging as history’s ultimate nomads. For centuries, Jewish communities have been prone to appear, disappear and reappear almost anywhere, belonging everywhere and yet nowhere.

The island of Djerba, off the coast of Tunisia, is home to one of the oldest and most authentic Jewish communities in the world. This community is perhaps the last cohesive, traditional Jewish community in the Middle East and North Africa. According to the tradition, a congregation of Cohanim, the Temple priestess from Jerusalem, arrived in Djerba in 586 BCE with a stone from the First Temple in Jerusalem, just after its destruction by the Babylonians. That stoned was used as the founding stone for the El Ghriba Synagogue, a synagogue considered to be sacred and one of the main Jewish pilgrimage destinations in the world. Documented Jewish presence in Tunisia spans for more than 20 centuries. First were the Jews that came after the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem. In the seventh century, a flock of Spanish Jews fleeing the persecutions in Visigoths Spain settled in Tunisia. With the invasion of the Arabs in the 7th Century, Jews from Baghdad arrived. And in the 15th Century waves of expelled Jews from Spain and Portugal and later from Italy, settled, in Tunisia.

(english version clip wil be online soon)

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