Jewish quarter (diaspora)

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An 1880 watercolour of the Roman Ghetto by Ettore Roesler Franz. ArcoDelleAzimelleInGhettoByRoeslerFranz.jpg
An 1880 watercolour of the Roman Ghetto by Ettore Roesler Franz.

In the Jewish diaspora, a Jewish quarter (also known as jewry, juiverie, Judengasse, Jewynstreet, Jewtown, or proto-ghetto ) [1] is the area of a city traditionally inhabited by Jews. Jewish quarters, like the Jewish ghettos in Europe, were often the outgrowths of segregated ghettos instituted by the surrounding Christian authorities. A Yiddish term for a Jewish quarter or neighborhood is "Di yiddishe gas" (Yiddish : די ייִדישע גאַס ), or "The Jewish quarter." [2] While in Ladino, they are known as maalé yahudí , meaning "The Jewish quarter".


Many European and Near Eastern cities once had a historical Jewish quarter and some still have it. The history of the Jews in Iraq is documented from the time of the Babylonian captivity c 586 BC. Iraqi Jews constitute one of the world's oldest and most historically significant Jewish communities.

Jewish quarters in Europe existed for a number of reasons. In some cases, Christian authorities wished to segregate Jews from the Christian population so that Christians would not be "contaminated" by them [ citation needed ] or so as to put psychological pressure on Jews to convert to Christianity. From the Jewish point of view, concentration of Jews within a limited area offered a level of protection from outside influences or mob violence. In many cases, residents had their own justice system. When political authorities designated an area where Jews were required by law to live, such areas were commonly referred to as ghettos, and were usually coupled with many other disabilities and indignities. The areas chosen usually consisted of the most undesirable areas of a city. In the 19th century, Jewish ghettos were progressively abolished, and their walls taken down, though some areas of Jewish concentration continued and continue to exist. In some cities, Jewish quarters refer to areas which historically had concentrations of Jews. For example, many maps of Spanish towns mark a "Jewish Quarter", though Spain hasn't had a significant Jewish population for over 500 years.

However, in the course of World War II, Nazi Germany reestablished Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe (which they called Jewish quarters) for the purpose of segregation, persecution, terror, and exploitation of Jews, mostly in Eastern Europe. According to USHMM archives, "The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos in German-occupied and annexed Poland and the Soviet Union alone." [3]


The Josefov of Prague, which was demolished between 1893 and 1913. V10p163001 Prague.jpg
The Josefov of Prague, which was demolished between 1893 and 1913.
The Warsaw Ghetto in May 1941. Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-134-0796-28, Ghetto Warschau, Ghettopolizist, Strassenbahn.jpg
The Warsaw Ghetto in May 1941.
Jewish Quarter of Trebic, Czech Republic. Jewish Quarter, Trebic, Czech Republic.jpg
Jewish Quarter of Třebíč, Czech Republic.
The entrance, called the "Port de la Calandre", to the Jewish Quarter in Avignon, France. Avignon France Jewish Quarter Port de la Calandre Entrance.jpg
The entrance, called the "Port de la Calandre", to the Jewish Quarter in Avignon, France.
Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Troyes, France. Synagogue New Jewish Area Troyes France.jpg
Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Troyes, France.
Jewish cemetery of Legnica, Poland. Jewish cemetery in Legnica (Poland)12.jpg
Jewish cemetery of Legnica, Poland.
Jewish Quarter of Caltagirone, Italy Ingresso della Giudecca di Caltagirone.jpg
Jewish Quarter of Caltagirone, Italy
Czech Republic
United Kingdom


El Ghriba, Djerba island, Tunisia. Interieur de la Ghriba-Flickr-Tab59.jpg
El Ghriba, Djerba island, Tunisia.
Artifacts from the Jewish Quarter, Casablanca, Morocco. Jewish Museum of Casablanca Morocco.jpg
Artifacts from the Jewish Quarter, Casablanca, Morocco.




United States

Other regions

In the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa there are a number of neighborhoods or small towns, generally in large cities or outlying communities of such, which are home to large concentrations of Jewish residents, much in the manner of old-world Jewish quarters or other ethnic enclaves, though without exclusive Jewish population.

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A mellah is a Jewish quarter of a city in Morocco. Starting in the 15th century and especially since the beginning of the 19th century, Jewish communities in Morocco were constrained to live in mellah districts in many Moroccan cities. The name mellah derives from a local toponym in Fez which became the name of the first separate Jewish district in Morocco created in that city during the 15th century.

Jewish Combat Organization World War Two resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Poland

The Jewish Combat Organization was a World War II resistance movement in occupied Poland, which was instrumental in organizing and launching the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. ŻOB took part in a number of other resistance activities as well.

Giudecca Island in the Venetian Lagoon, Italy

Giudecca is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, in northern Italy. It is part of the sestiere of Dorsoduro and is a locality of the comune of Venice.

Aljama is a term of Arabic origin used in old official documents in Spain and Portugal to designate the self-governing communities of Moors and Jews living under Christian rule in the Iberian Peninsula. In some present-day Spanish cities, the name is still applied to the quarters where such communities lived, though they are many centuries gone.

Budapest Ghetto

The Budapest Ghetto was a Nazi ghetto set up in Budapest, Hungary, where Jews were forced to relocate by a decree of the Government of National Unity led by the fascist Arrow cross party during the final stages of World War II. The ghetto existed only from November 29, 1944 to January 17, 1945.

Kraków Ghetto Ghetto for Polish Jews during WWII in Kraków, German-occupied Poland

The Kraków Ghetto was one of five major metropolitan Nazi ghettos created by Germany in the new General Government territory during the German occupation of Poland in World War II. It was established for the purpose of exploitation, terror, and persecution of local Polish Jews. The ghetto was later used as a staging area for separating the "able workers" from those to be deported to extermination camps in Operation Reinhard. The Ghetto was liquidated between June 1942 and March 1943, with most of its inhabitants deported to the Belzec extermination camp as well as to Płaszów slave-labor camp, and Auschwitz concentration camp, 60 kilometres (37 mi) rail distance.

Vilna Ghetto Ghetto for Jews in Vilnius during the Holocaust

The Vilna Ghetto was a World War II Jewish ghetto established and operated by Nazi Germany in the city of Vilnius in the modern country of Lithuania, at the time part of the Nazi-administered Reichskommissariat Ostland.

Nazi ghettos Areas of Jewish imprisonment during the Holocaust

Beginning with the invasion of Poland during World War II, the Nazi regime set up ghettos across German-occupied Eastern Europe in order to segregate and confine Jews, and sometimes Romani people, into small sections of towns and cities furthering their exploitation. In German documents, and signage at ghetto entrances, the Nazis usually referred to them as Jüdischer Wohnbezirk or Wohngebiet der Juden, both of which translate as the Jewish Quarter. There were several distinct types including open ghettos, closed ghettos, work, transit, and destruction ghettos, as defined by the Holocaust historians. In a number of cases, they were the place of Jewish underground resistance against the German occupation, known collectively as the ghetto uprisings.

Jewish resistance in German-occupied Europe Various forms of resistance conducted by Jews against Nazi occupation regimes

Jewish resistance under Nazi rule took various forms of organized underground activities conducted against German occupation regimes in Europe by Jews during World War II. According to historian Yehuda Bauer, Jewish resistance was defined as actions that were taken against all laws and actions acted by Germans. The term is particularly connected with the Holocaust and includes a multitude of different social responses by those oppressed, as well as both passive and armed resistance conducted by Jews themselves.

Karataş, Konak

Karataş is a neighborhood of İzmir, Turkey, within the boundaries of the city's central metropolitan district of Konak. The neighborhood no longer has an official delimitation or status and exists as a notional zone (semt) that is admitted to stretch along the small cove of the same name in the Gulf of İzmir. Its area roughly corresponds to the officially delimited quarter (mahalle) named Turgut Reis. The inhabitants, among whom neighborhood pride is quite developed, also usually declare living in Karataş.

Xueta Social group on the Spanish island of Majorca

The Xuetes are a social group on the Spanish island of Majorca, in the Mediterranean Sea, who are descendants of Majorcan Jews that either were conversos or were Crypto-Jews, forced to keep their religion hidden. They practiced strict endogamy by marrying only within their own group. Many of their descendants observe a syncretist form of Christian worship known as Xueta Christianity.

La Juderia

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Jewish ghettos in Europe Neighborhoods of European cities in which Jews were permitted to live

Jewish ghettos in Europe were neighbourhoods of European cities in which Jews were permitted to live. In addition to being confined to the ghettos, Jews were placed under strict regulations as well as restrictions in many European cities. The character of ghettos fluctuated over the centuries. In some cases, they comprised a Jewish quarter, the area of a city traditionally inhabited by Jews. In many instances, ghettos were places of terrible poverty and during periods of population growth, ghettos had narrow streets and small, crowded houses. Residents had their own justice system. Around the ghetto stood walls that, during pogroms, were closed from inside to protect the community, but from the outside during Christmas, Pesach, and Easter Week to prevent the Jews from leaving at those times.

La Giudecca Geographical term used In Southern Italy and Sicily

La Giudecca[la dʒuˈdɛkka] was a term used In Southern Italy and Sicily to identify any urban district where Jewish communities dwelled and had their synagogues and businesses.

1948 Cairo bombings

The 1948 bombings in Cairo, which targeted Jewish areas, took place between June and September 1948 killing 70 Jews and wounding nearly 200. Riots claimed many more lives.

A timeline of the Holocaust is detailed in the events listed below. Also referred to as the Shoah, the Holocaust was a genocide in which some six million European Jews were killed by Nazi Germany and its World War II collaborators. About 1.5 million of the victims were children. Two-thirds of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe were murdered. The following timeline has been compiled from a variety of sources including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Expulsion of Jews from Spain was the expulsion from Spain following the Alhambra Decree in 1492, which was enacted in order to eliminate their influence on Spain's large converso population and to ensure its members did not revert to Judaism, many Jews in Spain either converted or were expelled. Over half of Spain's Jews had converted to Catholicism as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms in 1391. Due to continuing attacks, around 50,000 more had converted by 1415. Those who remained decided to convert to avoid expulsion. As a result of the Alhambra decree and the prior persecution, over 200,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between 40,000 and 100,000 were expelled. An unknown number returned to Spain in the following years. The resulting expulsion led to mass migration of Jews from Spain to Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Mediterranean Basin. At the time, this can be seen in Jewish surnames beginning to show up in Italy and Greece. The surnames Faraggi, Farag and Farachi, for example, originate from the Spanish city of Fraga.

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Abraham David Taroç also known as Abraham Toros was a 14th-century Sephardic Jewish jeweller and aristocrat, who is known for legally being married to two women at the same time in the Catholic Principality of Catalonia.

Sephardic Museum (Granada)

The Sephardic Museum in Granada, officially the Jewish Quarter Museum, is a small museum in the city of Granada, Spain, dedicated to the recreation of the culture, history, people and traditions of the Sephardic Jews of Jewish Granada. The museum, a private initiative, occupies a typical house in the Realejo – the Jewish quarter of Granada before the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.


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  2. "The Virtual Jewish History Tour – Vilnius". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  3. "Enciclopedia del Holocausto".
  4. reports, Property Editor Tommy Barker (29 October 2021). "€285k home in Cork's Jewish quarter has chutzpah in spades". Irish Examiner.{{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  5. "Jewtown – Simon Lewis".
  6. "MUHBA El Call".
  7. "Iraq's Kurdish Jews Cautiously Return to Homeland".
  8. "Jewish Quarter of Damascus blooms again". The Jerusalem Post |
  9. "Rockland County". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  10. "New York State". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  11. Doris, Tony. "NEW: Demographic study reveals Palm Beach County's Jewish community bucks national trend". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 3 June 2021.