Legacy of Jews in the MENA - World Jewish Congress
Legacy of Jews in the MENA
Jewish Impact Across the Middle East and North Africa

For centuries Jews were central to Arab society, present in almost every country across the Middle East and Africa (MENA). Jewish residents were notable artists, intellectuals, actors, and musicians, who were part of greater Arab society.

From 1948 to 1973, however, these historic Jewish communities dissolved; approximately 850,000 Jews left the Arab world and settled in Israel, Europe, as well as across the globe, resulting in unimaginable economic hardship and family separation.

This exhibit showcases the contributions of Jewish individuals in the MENA. Their legacies are still felt today, and they must never be forgotten. By understanding the Jewish presence in the MENA, we gain a more complete and nuanced understanding of the region's history and development.

Highlighting the contributions of Jewish residents and other minority groups is essential to refuting stereotypes and misconceptions about the region and its people. It also highlights the diverse ideologies of Jewish communities in the MENA in the first half of the 20th century, with various ideologies from Zionism, Arab Nationalism, and everything in between, challenging the idea that they were mutually exclusive.