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Persian Jews
Jews
or Iranian Jews
Jews
(Persian: یهودیان ایرانی‎, Hebrew: יהודים פרסים‬) are Jews
Jews
historically associated with the Persian Empire, whose successor state is Iran. Judaism
Judaism
is the second-oldest religion still practiced in Iran
Iran
(after Zoroastrianism). The Biblical Book of Esther
Book of Esther
contains references to the experiences of the Jews
Jews
in Persia. Jews
Jews
have had a continuous presence in Iran
Iran
since the time of Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
of the Achaemenid Empire. Cyrus invaded Babylon
Babylon
and freed the Jews
Jews
from Babylonian captivity. The history of immigrant Jews
Jews
in Iran
Iran
goes back more than 3,000 years, during which time they were part of a multiconfessional society which included adherents of several other religions. Today, the vast majority of Persian Jews
Jews
live in Israel
Israel
and the United States, especially in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills
and on the North Shore of Long Island. According to the latest Iranian census, the remaining Jewish
Jewish
population of Iran
Iran
was 8,756 in 2012,[3] while the number of crypto- Jews
Jews
is unknown.

Contents

1 Terminology 2 History

2.1 Under Achaemenids

2.1.1 Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
and Jews 2.1.2 Under Darius 2.1.3 Under Ahasuerus

2.2 Parthian period 2.3 Sassanian period (226–634 CE) 2.4 Early Islamic period (634–1255) 2.5 Mongol rule (1256–1318) 2.6 Safavid, Afsharid and Qajar dynasties (1502–1925) 2.7 Pahlavi dynasty
Pahlavi dynasty
(1925–1979) 2.8 Islamic Republic (1979–present)

3 Current status in Iran

3.1 Conditions 3.2 Contacts with Jews
Jews
outside Iran 3.3 Jewish
Jewish
centers of Iran 3.4 Jewish
Jewish
education in Iran 3.5 Jewish
Jewish
sites of Iran

4 Demographics

4.1 Iran 4.2 Israel 4.3 The United States

4.3.1 Beverly Hills 4.3.2 New York

5 Related Jewish
Jewish
communities

5.1 Mountain Jews 5.2 Bukharan Jews 5.3 Lakhloukh
Lakhloukh
Jews

6 Languages 7 Notable Persian Jews

7.1 Biblical 7.2 Pre-modern era 7.3 Politics and military 7.4 Science and academia 7.5 Business and economics 7.6 Art and entertainment 7.7 Religion 7.8 Miscellaneous

8 See also 9 References 10 References 11 External links

Terminology[edit] Today the term Iranian Jews
Jews
is mostly used to refer to Jews
Jews
from the country of Iran. In various scholarly and historical texts, the term is used to refer to Jews
Jews
who speak various Iranian languages. Iranian immigrants in Israel
Israel
(nearly all of whom are Jewish) are referred to as Parsim (Hebrew: פרסים‎ meaning "Persians"). In Iran, Jews and Jewish
Jewish
people in general are referred to by four common terms: Kalīmī (Persian: کلیمی‎), which is considered the most proper term; Yahūdī (یهودی), which is less formal but correct; Israel (اسرائل) the term by which the Jews
Jews
refer to themselves; and Johūd (جهود), a term having negative connotations and considered by many Jews
Jews
as offensive.[6] History[edit] Main article: History of Jews
Jews
in Iran The beginnings of Jewish history
Jewish history
in the area of present-day Iran
Iran
date back to late biblical times. The biblical books of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles, and Esther
Esther
contain references to the life and experiences of Jews
Jews
in Persia. In the book of Ezra, the Persian kings are credited with permitting and enabling the Jews
Jews
to return to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and rebuild their Temple; its reconstruction was affected "according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia" ( Ezra
Ezra
6:14). This great event in Jewish history
Jewish history
took place in the late sixth century BCE, by which time there was a well-established and influential Jewish
Jewish
community in Persia. Jews
Jews
in ancient Persia
Persia
mostly lived in their own communities. Persian Jews
Jews
lived in the ancient (and until the mid-20th century still extant) communities not only of Iran, but also the Armenian, Georgian, Iraqi, Bukharan, and Mountain Jewish
Jewish
communities.[7][8][9][10][11] Some of the communities have been isolated from other Jewish communities, to the extent that their classification as "Persian Jews" is a matter of linguistic or geographical convenience rather than actual historical relationship with one another. Scholars believe that during the peak of the Persian Empire, Jews
Jews
may have comprised as much as 20% of the population.[12] According to Encyclopædia Britannica: "The Jews
Jews
trace their heritage in Iran
Iran
to the Babylonian Exile
Babylonian Exile
of the 6th century BC and, like the Armenians, have retained their ethnic, linguistic, and religious identity."[13] But the Library of Congress's country study on Iran states that "Over the centuries the Jews
Jews
of Iran
Iran
became physically, culturally, and linguistically indistinguishable from the non-Jewish population. The overwhelming majority of Jews
Jews
speak Persian as their mother language, and a tiny minority, Kurdish."[14] Under Achaemenids[edit] Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
and Jews[edit]

Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
allowing Hebrew
Hebrew
pilgrims to return to the Land of Israel
Israel
and rebuild Jerusalem

According to the Bible, three times during the 6th century BCE, Nebuchadnezzar exiled the Jews
Jews
(Hebrews) of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to Babylon. These three separate occasions are mentioned in Jeremiah (52:28–30). The first exile was in the time of Jehoiachin in 597 BCE, when the Temple of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
was partially despoiled and a number of the leading citizens removed. After eleven years (during the reign of Zedekiah), a fresh rising of the Judaeans occurred. Jerusalem was razed to the ground, and deportation ensued. Finally, five years later, Jeremiah recorded a third captivity. After the overthrow of Babylonia
Babylonia
by the Persian (Iranian) Achaemenid Empire, Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
is said by the Bible to have allowed the Jews to return to their native land (537 BCE). More than forty thousand were said to have done so, (See Jehoiakim; Ezra; Nehemiah
Nehemiah
and Jews). The historical nature of the "Cyrus decree" has been challenged. Professor Lester L Grabbe argues that there was no decree but that there was a policy that allowed exiles to return to their homelands and rebuild their temples. He also argues that the archaeology suggests that the return was a "trickle", taking place over perhaps decades, resulting in a maximum population of perhaps 30,000.[15] Philip R. Davies called the authenticity of the decree "dubious", citing Grabbe and adding that J. Briend argued against "the authenticity of Ezra
Ezra
1.1–4 is J. Briend, in a paper given at the Institut Catholique de Paris on 15 December 1993, who denies that it resembles the form of an official document but reflects rather biblical prophetic idiom."[16] Mary Joan Winn Leith believes that the decree in Ezra
Ezra
might be authentic and along with the Cylinder that Cyrus, like earlier rules, was through these decrees trying to gain support from those who might be strategically important, particularly those close to Egypt which he wished to conquer. He also wrote that "appeals to Marduk in the cylinder and to Yahweh in the biblical decree demonstrate the Persian tendency to co-opt local religious and political traditions in the interest of imperial control."[17] Under Darius[edit] Main article: Second Temple Cyrus ordered rebuilding the Second Temple
Second Temple
in the same place as the first; however, he died before it was completed. Darius the Great
Darius the Great
came to power in the Persian empire and ordered the completion of the temple. According to the Bible, the prophets Haggai
Haggai
and Zechariah urged this work. The temple was ready for consecration in the spring of 515 BCE, more than twenty years after the Jews' return to Jerusalem. Under Ahasuerus[edit] According to the Book
Book
of Esther, in the Tanakh, Haman was an Agagite noble and vizier of the empire under Persian King Ahasuerus, generally identified as Xerxes the Great
Xerxes the Great
(son of Darius the Great) in 6th century BCE.[18] Haman and his wife Zeresh instigated a plot to kill all the Jews
Jews
of ancient Persia. The plot was foiled by Queen Esther, the Jewish
Jewish
Queen of Persia. As a result, Ahasuerus
Ahasuerus
ordered the hanging of Haman and his ten sons. The events of the Book of Esther
Book of Esther
are celebrated as the holiday of Purim. Parthian period[edit] Jewish
Jewish
sources contain no mention of the Parthian influence; "Parthia" does not appear in the texts. The Armenian prince Sanatroces, of the royal house of the Arsacides, is mentioned in the "Small Chronicle" as one of the successors (diadochoi) of Alexander. Among other Asiatic princes, the Roman rescript in favor of the Jews
Jews
reached Arsaces as well (I Macc. xv. 22); it is not, however, specified which Arsaces. Not long after this, the Partho-Babylonian country was trodden by the army of a Jewish
Jewish
prince; the Syrian king, Antiochus Sidetes, marched, in company with Hyrcanus
Hyrcanus
I., against the Parthians; and when the allied armies defeated the Parthians
Parthians
(129 BCE) at the Great Zab (Lycus), the king ordered a halt of two days on account of the Jewish Sabbath and Feast of Weeks. In 40 BCE the Jewish
Jewish
puppet-king, Hyrcanus
Hyrcanus
II., fell into the hands of the Parthians, who, according to their custom, cut off his ears in order to render him unfit for rulership. The Jews
Jews
of Babylonia, it seems, had the intention of founding a high-priesthood for the exiled Hyrcanus, which they would have made quite independent of the Land of Israel. But the reverse was to come about: the Judeans received a Babylonian, Ananel by name, as their high priest which indicates the importance enjoyed by the Jews of Babylonia. Still in religious matters the Babylonians, as indeed the whole diaspora, were in many regards dependent upon the Land of Israel. They went on pilgrimages to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
for the festivals. The Parthian Empire
Empire
was based on a loosely configured system of vassal kings. The lack of rigidly centralized rule over the empire had drawbacks, for instance, allowing the rise of a Jewish
Jewish
robber-state in Nehardea (see Anilai and Asinai). Yet, the tolerance of the Arsacid dynasty was as legendary as that of the first Persian dynasty, the Achaemenids. One account suggests the conversion of a small number of Parthian vassal kings of Adiabene
Adiabene
to Judaism. These instances and others show not only the tolerance of Parthian kings, but are also a testament to the extent at which the Parthians
Parthians
saw themselves as the heir to the preceding empire of Cyrus the Great. So protective were the Parthians
Parthians
of the minority over whom they ruled, that an old Jewish saying tells, "When you see a Parthian charger tied up to a tomb-stone in the Land of Israel, the hour of the Messiah will be near". The Babylonian Jews
Jews
wanted to fight in common cause with their Judean brethren against Vespasian; but it was not until the Romans waged war under Trajan
Trajan
against Parthia
Parthia
that they made their hatred felt; so, the revolt of the Babylonian Jews
Jews
helped prevent Rome from becoming master there. Philo
Philo
speaks of the numerous Jews
Jews
resident in that country, a population that was likely increased by immigrants after the destruction of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem
Jerusalem
from early times, Jews
Jews
had looked to the east for help. With the fall of Jerusalem, Babylonia became a kind of bulwark of Judaism. The collapse of the Bar Kochba revolt likely also added to Jewish
Jewish
refugees in Babylon. In the struggles between the Parthians
Parthians
and the Romans, the Jews
Jews
had reason to side with the Parthians, their protectors. Parthian kings elevated the princes of the Exile to a kind of nobility, called Resh Galuta. Until then they had used the Jews
Jews
as collectors of revenue. The Parthians
Parthians
may have given them recognition for services, especially by the Davidic house. Establishment of the Resh Galuta
Resh Galuta
provided a central authority over the numerous Jewish
Jewish
subjects, who proceeded to develop their own internal affairs. Sassanian period (226–634 CE)[edit] Main article: Exilarch

Hebrew
Hebrew
version of Nizami's "Khosrow va Shirin".

By the early Third Century, Persian Empire
Persian Empire
influences were on the rise again. In the winter of 226 CE, Ardashir I
Ardashir I
overthrew the last Parthian king (Artabanus IV), destroyed the rule of the Arsacids, and founded the dynasty of the Sassanids. While Hellenistic influence had been felt amongst the religiously tolerant Parthians,[19][20][21] the Sassanids
Sassanids
intensified the Persian side of life, favored the Pahlavi language, and restored the old monotheistic religion of Zoroastrianism which became the official state religion.[22] This resulted in the suppression of other religions.[23] A priestly Zoroastrian inscription from the time of King Bahram II (276–293 CE) contains a list of religions (including Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism etc.) that Sassanid rule claimed to have "smashed". "The false doctrines of Ahriman and of the idols suffered great blows and lost credibility. The Jews
Jews
(Yahud), Buddhists (Shaman), Hindus (Brahman), Nazarenes (Nasara), Christians (Kristiyan), Baptists (Makdag) and Manichaeans (Zandik) were smashed in the empire, their idols destroyed, and the habitations of the idols annihilated and turned into abodes and seats of the gods"."[24] Shapur I
Shapur I
(or Shvor Malka, which is the Aramaic
Aramaic
form of the name) was friendly to the Jews. His friendship with Shmuel gained many advantages for the Jewish
Jewish
community. Shapur II's mother Ifra-Hormiz was Judaizing believer (i.e. believer in Judaism),[25] and this gave the Jewish
Jewish
community relative freedom of religion and many advantages. He was also friend of a Babylonian rabbi in the Talmud
Talmud
named Raba, Raba's friendship with Shapur II
Shapur II
enabled him to secure a relaxation of the oppressive laws enacted against the Jews
Jews
in the Persian Empire. In addition, Raba sometimes referred to his top student Abaye with the term Shvur Malka meaning "Shapur [the] King" because of his bright and quick intellect. Early Islamic period (634–1255)[edit] With the Islamic conquest of Persia, the government assigned Jews, along with Christians and Zoroastrians, to the status of dhimmis, non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic empire. Dhimmis were allowed to practice their religion, but were required to pay jizya to cover the cost of financial welfare, security and other benefits that Muslims were entitled to (jizya, a poll tax, and initially also kharaj, a land tax) in place of the zakat, which the Muslim population was required to pay. Like other Dhimmis, Jews
Jews
were exempt from military draft. Viewed as "People of the Book", they had some status as fellow monotheists, though they were treated differently depending on the ruler at the time. On the one hand, Jews
Jews
were granted significant economic and religious freedom when compared to their co-religionists in European nations during these centuries. Many served as doctors, scholars, and craftsman, and gained positions of influence in society. On the other hand, like other non-Muslims, they did not work in Sharia Law since they did not have the obvious knowledge and qualifications for it. Mongol rule (1256–1318)[edit]

Statue of Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, The Persian physician of Jewish origin, polymathic writer and historian, who wrote an enormous Islamic history, the Jami al-Tawarikh, in the Persian language
Persian language
during Mongol rule. He was also Grand Vizier
Vizier
of Ilkhanid
Ilkhanid
court.

In 1255, Mongols led by Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan
invaded parts of Persia, and in 1258 they captured Baghdad putting an end to the Abbasid caliphate.[26] In Persia
Persia
and surrounding areas, the Mongols established a division of the Mongol Empire
Empire
known as Ilkhanate, creating a capital in Tabriz. The Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
Mongol rulers abolished the inequality of dhimmis, and all religions were deemed equal. It was shortly after this time when one of the Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
rulers, Arghun
Arghun
Khan, preferred Jews
Jews
for the administrative positions and appointed Sa'd al-Daula, a Jew, as his vizier. The appointment, however, provoked resentment from the Muslim clergy, and after Arghun's death in 1291, al-Daula was murdered and Persian Jews
Jews
in Tabriz
Tabriz
suffered a period of violent persecutions from the Muslim populace instigated by the clergy. The Orthodox Christian historian Bar Hebraeus wrote that the violence committed against the Jews
Jews
during that period "neither tongue can utter, nor the pen write down".[27] Ghazan Khan's conversion to Islam
Islam
in 1295 heralded for Persian Jews
Jews
in Tabriz
Tabriz
a pronounced turn for the worse, as they were once again relegated to the status of dhimmis (Covenant of Omar). Öljeitü, Ghazan Khan's successor, destroyed many synagogues and decreed that Jews
Jews
had to wear a distinctive mark on their heads; Christians endured similar persecutions. Under pressure, many Jews
Jews
converted to Islam. The most famous such convert was Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, a physician of Hamadani origin who was also a historian and statesman; and who adopted Islam
Islam
in order to advance his career in Öljeitü's court in Tabriz. However, in 1318 he was executed on charges of poisoning Öljeitü
Öljeitü
and his severed head was carried around the streets of Tabriz, chanting, "This is the head of the Jew
Jew
who abused the name of God; may God's curse be upon him!" About 100 years later, Miranshah destroyed Rashid al-Din's tomb, and his remains were reburied at the Jewish
Jewish
cemetery. In 1383, Timur Lenk
Timur Lenk
started the military conquest of Persia. He captured Herat, Khorasan and all eastern Persia
Persia
to 1385 and massacred almost all inhabitants of Neishapur
Neishapur
and other Iranian cities. When revolts broke out in Persia, he ruthlessly suppressed them, massacring the populations of whole cities. When Timur plundered Persia
Persia
its artists and artisans were deported to embellish Timur's capital Samarkand. Skilled Persian Jews
Jews
were imported to develop the empire's textile industry.[28] Safavid, Afsharid and Qajar dynasties (1502–1925)[edit]

Synagogue
Synagogue
in Tehran. A postcard from the Qajar (1794–1925) period.

Hamedan
Hamedan
Jews
Jews
in 1918

During the reign of the Safavids
Safavids
(1502–1794), they proclaimed Shi'a Islam
Islam
the state religion. This led to a deterioration in their treatment of Persian Jews. Safavids
Safavids
Shi'ism assigns importance to the issues of ritual purity – tahara. Non-Muslims, including Jews, are deemed to be ritually unclean – najis. Any physical contact would require Shi'as to undertake ritual purification before doing regular prayers. Thus, Persian rulers, and the general populace, sought to limit physical contact between Muslims and Jews. Jews
Jews
were excluded from public baths used by Muslims. They were forbidden to go outside during rain or snow, as an "impurity" could be washed from them upon a Muslim.[29] The reign of Shah
Shah
Abbas I (1588–1629) was initially benign; Jews prospered throughout Persia
Persia
and were encouraged to settle in Isfahan, which was made a new capital. Toward the end of his rule, treatment of Jews
Jews
became more harsh. Shi'a clergy (including a Jewish
Jewish
convert) persuaded the shah to require Jews
Jews
to wear a distinctive badge on clothing and headgear. In 1656, the shah ordered the expulsion from Isfahan
Isfahan
of all Jews
Jews
because of the common belief of their "impurity". They were forced to convert to Islam. The treasury suffered from the loss of jizya collected from the Jews. People rumored that the converts continued to practice Judaism
Judaism
in secret. For whatever reason, the government in 1661 allowed Jews
Jews
to take up their old religion, but still required them to wear a distinctive patch upon their clothing.[27] Nadir Shah
Nadir Shah
(1736–1747) allowed Jews
Jews
to settle in the Shi'ite holy city of Mashhad. However, following his murder many Jews
Jews
were massacred in Mashhad, and survivors were forcibly converted, in an event known as Allahdad incident. they become known as "Jadid al-Islams" (new converts) and appeared to superficially accept the new religion, but in fact lived their lives as Crypto-Jews. The community permanently left Iran
Iran
in 1946 and still lives as a tightly knit community in Israel
Israel
today.[30] BĀBĀʾĪ BEN NŪRĪʾEL, a rabbi (ḥāḵām) from Isfahan
Isfahan
who, at the behest of Nāder Shah
Shah
Afšār (r. 1148–60/1736–47), translated the Pentateuch and the Psalms of David from Hebrew
Hebrew
into Persian. Three other rabbis helped him in the translation, which was begun in Rabīʿ II, 1153/May, 1740, and completed in Jomādā I, 1154/June, 1741. At the same time, eight Muslim mollas and three European and five Armenian priests translated the Koran and the Gospels. The commission was supervised by Mīrzā Moḥammad Mahdī Khan Monšī, the court historiographer and author of the Tārīḵ-ejahāngošā-ye nāderī. Finished translations were presented to Nāder Shah
Shah
in Qazvīn in June, 1741, who, however, was not impressed. There had been previous translations of the Jewish
Jewish
holy books into Persian, but Bābāʾī’s translation is notable for the accuracy of the Persian equivalents of Hebrew
Hebrew
words, which has made it the subject of study by linguists. Bābāʾī’s introduction to the translation of the Psalms of David is unique, and sheds a certain amount of light on the teaching methods of Iranian Jewish
Jewish
schools in eighteenth-century Iran. He is not known to have written anything else.[31] The advent of a Shi'a Qajar dynasty
Qajar dynasty
in 1794 brought back the earlier persecutions.

A Jewish
Jewish
gathering celebrates the second anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution in Tehran.

Lord Curzon described 19th century regional differences in the situation of the Persian Jews: "In Isfahan, where they are said to be 3,700 and where they occupy a relatively better status than elsewhere in Persia, they are not permitted to wear kolah or Persian headdress, to have shops in the bazaar, to build the walls of their houses as high as a Moslem neighbour's, or to ride in the street. In Teheran and Kashan
Kashan
they are also to be found in large numbers and enjoying a fair position. In Shiraz
Shiraz
they are very badly off. In Bushire they are prosperous and free from persecution."[32] The 19th century the colonial powers from Europe began noting numerous forced conversions and massacres, usually generated by Shi'a clergy. Two major blood-libel conspiracies had taken place during this period, one in Shiraz
Shiraz
and the other in Tabriz. In 1830, a blood-libel had wiped out the Jewish
Jewish
population of Tabriz; a power struggle over influence between Jewish
Jewish
and Christian minorities led the Armenians
Armenians
to kidnap and murder a Muslim child from a prominent family, delivering the body to the chief secretary claiming that the Jews
Jews
had murdered and drank the blood of the child for Passover.[citation needed] A document recorded after the incident states that the Jews
Jews
faced two options, conversion to Islam
Islam
or death. Amidst the chaos, Jews
Jews
had converted, but most refused to convert to Islam
Islam
- described within the document was a boy of age 16 named Yahyia who refused to convert to Islam, he was subsequently killed. The same year saw a forcible conversion of the Jews
Jews
of Shiraz
Shiraz
over a similar incident. In addition to the Allahdad incident mentioned above in 1839. European travellers reported that the Jews
Jews
of Tabriz
Tabriz
and Shiraz
Shiraz
continued to practice Judaism
Judaism
in secret despite a fear of further persecutions. Famous Iranian- Jewish
Jewish
teachers such as Mullah Daoud Chadi continued to teach and preach Judaism, inspiring Jews
Jews
throughout the nation. Jews
Jews
of Barforush, Mazandaran were forcibly converted in 1866. When the French and British ambassadors intervened to allow them to practice their traditional religion, a mob killed 18 Jews
Jews
of Barforush.[33][34] Perhaps these things happened earlier too, but went unnoticed by the historians. In the middle of the 19th century, J. J. Benjamin wrote about the life of Persian Jews, describing conditions and beliefs that went back to the 16th century:

They are obliged to live in a separate part of town…; for they are considered as unclean creatures… Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mobs with stones and dirt… For the same reason, they are prohibited to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans… If a Jew
Jew
is recognized as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest insults. The passers-by spit in his face, and sometimes beat him… unmercifully… If a Jew
Jew
enters a shop for anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods… Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses to ask for them... Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews
Jews
and take possession of whatever please them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defense of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life... If... a Jew
Jew
shows himself in the street during the three days of the Katel (Muharram)…, he is sure to be murdered.[35]

In 1894 a representative of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, a Jewish
Jewish
humanitarian and educational organization, wrote from Tehran: "…every time that a priest wishes to emerge from obscurity and win a reputation for piety, he preaches war against the Jews".[36] In 1910, Muslims rumored that the Jews
Jews
of Shiraz
Shiraz
had ritually murdered a Muslim girl. Muslims plundered the whole Jewish
Jewish
quarter. The first to start looting were soldiers sent by the local governor to defend the Jews
Jews
against the enraged mob. Twelve Jews
Jews
who tried to defend their property were killed, and many others were injured.[37] Representatives of the Alliance Israélite Universelle
Alliance Israélite Universelle
recorded numerous instances of persecution and debasement of Persian Jews.[38] In the late 19th – early 20th century, thousands of Persian Jews immigrated to the territory of present-day Israel
Israel
within the Ottoman Empire
Empire
to escape such persecution.[39] Driven by these persecutions, thousands of Persian Jews
Jews
immigrated to Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pahlavi dynasty
Pahlavi dynasty
(1925–1979)[edit] The Pahlavi dynasty
Pahlavi dynasty
implemented modernizing reforms, which greatly improved the life of Jews. The influence of the Shi'a clergy was weakened, and the restrictions on Jews
Jews
and other religious minorities were abolished.[40] According to Charles Recknagel and Azam Gorgin of Radio Free Europe, during the reign of Reza Shah
Reza Shah
"the political and social conditions of the Jews
Jews
changed fundamentally. Reza Shah prohibited mass conversion of Jews
Jews
and eliminated the concept of uncleanness of non-Muslims. He allowed incorporation of modern Hebrew into the curriculum of Jewish
Jewish
schools and publication of Jewish newspapers. Jews
Jews
were also allowed to hold government jobs.[41] Reza Shah's ascent brought temporary relief to Jews. In the 1920s, Jewish schools were closed again. In the 1930s, "Reza Shah's pro-Nazi sympathies seriously threatened Iranian Jewry. There were no persecutions of the Jews, but, as with other minorities, anti-Jewish articles were published in the media. Unlike religiously motivated prejudice, anti- Jewish
Jewish
sentiments acquired an ethnonational character, a direct import from Germany."[40] At the time of the establishment of the state of Israel
Israel
in 1948, there were approximately 140,000–150,000 Jews
Jews
living in Iran, the historical center of Persian Jewry. Over 95% have since migrated abroad.[42] The violence and disruption in Arab life associated with the founding of Israel
Israel
and its victory in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
drove increased anti- Jewish
Jewish
sentiment in Iran. This continued until 1953, in part because of the weakening of the central government and strengthening of clergy in the political struggles between the shah and prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh. From 1948–1953, about one-third of Iranian Jews, most of them poor, immigrated to Israel.[43] David Littman puts the total figure of Iranian Jews
Jews
who immigrated to Israel between 1948 and 1978 at 70,000.[39] After the deposition of Mossadegh in 1953, the reign of shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was the most prosperous era for the Jews
Jews
of Iran. In the 1970s, only 1% of Iranian Jews
Jews
were classified as lower class; 80% were middle class and 10% wealthy. Although Jews
Jews
accounted for only a small percentage of Iran's population, in 1979 two of the 18 members of the Iranian Academy of Sciences, 80 of the 4,000 university lecturers, and 600 of the 10,000 physicians in Iran
Iran
were Jews.[43] Prior to the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
or Islamic Revolution
Islamic Revolution
in 1979, there were 100,000 Jews
Jews
in Iran, mostly concentrated in Tehran
Tehran
(60,000), Shiraz
Shiraz
(18,000), Kermanshah
Kermanshah
(4,000), and Isfahan
Isfahan
(3,000). Jews
Jews
were also located in other various cities throughout Iran: Urmia
Urmia
(800), Salmas
Salmas
(400), Miandoab
Miandoab
(60), Baneh, Mashhad, Kashan, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Tazeh Qaleh, Chichakluy-e Bash Qaleh, Garrus, Qaslan, Hamadan, Tuyserkan, Nahavand, Kermanshah, Hashtrud, Zehab, Babol, Siahkal, Damavand, Bushehr, Kazerun, Torbat-e Heydarieh, Sarakhs, Yazd, Arak, Khorramabad.[44] The Iranian Jewish
Jewish
emigration to Israel
Israel
is not a recent phenomenon. Of the Iranian Jews
Jews
living in Israel
Israel
in the early 1990s, 41% immigrated to British Mandatory Palestine before the establishment of Israel there in 1948; only 15% were admitted between 1975 and 1991. They immigrated chiefly because of religious persecution.[45] Islamic Republic (1979–present)[edit] At the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, 80,000-100,000 Jews
Jews
were living in Iran. From then on, Jewish
Jewish
emigration from Iran
Iran
dramatically increased, as about 20,000 Jews
Jews
left within several months of the revolution alone.[39] The vast majority of Iran's Jewish
Jewish
population, some 60,000 Jews, emigrated, of whom 35,000 went to the United States, 20,000 to Israel, and 5,000 to Europe (mainly to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland).[46] Some sources put the Iranian Jewish
Jewish
population in the mid and late 1980s as between 50,000–60,000.[47] An estimate based on the 1986 census put the figure considerably higher for the same time, around 55,000.[48] From the mid-1990s to the present there has been more uniformity in the figures, with most government sources since then estimating roughly 25,000 Jews
Jews
remaining in Iran.[49][50][51][52][53] However, a 2012 census put the figure at about 8,756.[54] These official figures are considered bloated, and the Jewish
Jewish
community may not amount to more than 10,000.[55] Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Khomeini
Khomeini
met with the Jewish
Jewish
community upon his return from exile in Paris, when heads of the community, disturbed by the execution of one of their most distinguished representatives, the industrialist Habib Elghanian, arranged to meet him in Qom. At one point he said:

In the holy Quran, Moses, salutations upon him and all his kin, has been mentioned more than any other prophet. Prophet Moses was a mere shepherd when he stood up to the might of pharaoh and destroyed him. Moses, the Speaker-to-Allah, represented pharaoh's slaves, the downtrodden, the mostazafeen of his time.

At the end of the discussion, Khomeini
Khomeini
declared that "We recognize our Jews
Jews
as separate from those godless, bloodsucking Zionists."[55] and issued a fatwa decreeing that the Jews
Jews
were to be protected.[56] Habib Elghanian
Habib Elghanian
was arrested and sentenced to death by an Islamic revolutionary tribunal shortly after the Islamic revolution for charges including corruption, contacts with Israel
Israel
and Zionism, and "friendship with the enemies of God", and was executed by a firing squad. He was the first Jew
Jew
and businessman to be executed by the Islamic government. His execution caused fear among the Jewish community and caused many to leave Iran.[57] In the Islamic republic, Jews
Jews
have become more religious. Families who had been secular in the 1970s started adhering to kosher dietary laws and more strictly observed rules against driving on the Shabbat. They stopped going to restaurants, cafes and cinemas and the synagogue became the focal point of their social lives.[58] Haroun Yashyaei, a film producer and former chairman of the Central Jewish
Jewish
Community in Iran
Iran
said, " Khomeini
Khomeini
didn't mix up our community with Israel
Israel
and Zionism
Zionism
– he saw us as Iranians."[59] In June 2007, though there were reports that wealthy expatriate Jews established a fund to offer incentives to Iranian Jews
Jews
to immigrate to Israel, few took them up on the offer. The Society of Iranian Jews dismissed this act as "immature political enticements" and said that their national identity was not for sale.[60] Jews
Jews
in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran
are formally to be treated equally and free to practice their religion. There is even a seat in the Iranian parliament reserved for the representative of the Iranian Jews. However, de facto, discrimination is common.[61][62] Current status in Iran[edit]

Yusef Abad synagogue in Tehran

Iran's Jewish
Jewish
community is officially recognized as a religious minority group by the government, and, like the Zoroastrians and Christians, they are allocated one seat in the Iranian Parliament. Siamak Moreh Sedgh is the current Jewish
Jewish
member of the parliament, replacing Maurice Motamed in the 2008 election. In 2000, former Jewish MP Manuchehr Eliasi estimated that at that time there were still 60,000–85,000 Jews
Jews
in Iran; most other sources put the figure at 25,000.[63] The United States
United States
State Department estimated the number of Jews
Jews
in Iran
Iran
at 20,000–25,000 as of 2009.[64] Iranian Jews
Jews
have their own newspaper (called "Ofogh-e-Bina") with Jewish
Jewish
scholars performing Judaic research at Tehran's "Central Library of Jewish
Jewish
Association".[65] The "Dr. Sapir Jewish
Jewish
Hospital" is Iran's largest charity hospital of any religious minority community in the country;[65] however, most of its patients and staff are Muslim.[66] Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
Yousef Hamadani Cohen is the present spiritual leader for the Jewish
Jewish
community of Iran.[67] In August 2000, Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
Cohen met with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
for the first time.[68] In 2003, Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
Cohen and Maurice Motamed met with President Khatami at Yusef Abad Synagogue
Synagogue
which was the first time a President of Iran had visited a synagogue since the Islamic Revolution.[69] Haroun Yashayaei is the chairman of the Jewish
Jewish
Committee of Tehran
Tehran
and leader of Iran's Jewish
Jewish
Community.[69][70] On January 26, 2007, Yashayaei's letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
concerning his Holocaust denial comments brought about worldwide media attention.[71][72][73] The Jews
Jews
of Iran
Iran
have been best known for certain occupations like making gold jewelry and antique dealing, textiles and carpets. Conditions[edit] Jews
Jews
are conscripted into the Iranian army like all Iranian citizens. Many Iranian Jews
Jews
fought during the Iran-Iraq war (1980–1988) as drafted soldiers, and about 15 were killed.[74] Most Iranian Jews
Jews
say that they view Iran
Iran
as their home and are allowed to practice Judaism
Judaism
freely, but there is suspicion and fear too.[75] Contacts with Jews
Jews
outside Iran[edit]

A Persian Jew
Jew
prays in a synagogue in Shiraz, Iran, 1999.

Rabbis from the Haredi sect Neturei Karta, which has historically been opposed to the existence of Israel
Israel
have visited Iran
Iran
on several occasions.[76][77][78][79] The Jewish
Jewish
Defense Organization, protested against one such visit by members of a Neturei Karta
Neturei Karta
faction after they attended International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Tehran. Maurice Motamed, a former Jewish
Jewish
Iranian parliamentarian states that in recent years, the Iranian government has allowed Jewish
Jewish
Iranians to visit their family members in Israel
Israel
and that the government has also allowed those Iranians living in Israel
Israel
to return to Iran
Iran
for a visit.[80] Limited cultural contacts are also allowed, such as the March 2006 Jewish
Jewish
folk dance festival in Russia, in which a female team from Iran participated.[81][82] Thirteen Jews
Jews
have been executed in Iran
Iran
since the Islamic revolution, most of them for alleged connections to Israel. Among them, one of the most prominent Jews
Jews
of Iran
Iran
in the 1970s, Habib Elghanian
Habib Elghanian
who was the head of the Iranian Jewish
Jewish
community was executed by a firing squad by the Islamic government shortly after the Islamic Revolution
Islamic Revolution
of 1979 on the charge having had contact with Israel, among others. In May 1998, Jewish
Jewish
businessman Ruhollah Kadkhodah-Zadeh was hanged in prison without a public charge or legal proceeding, apparently for assisting Jews
Jews
to emigrate.[83] Iranian Jews
Jews
are generally allowed to travel to Israel
Israel
and emigrate abroad, though they must submit passport and visa requests to a special section of the passport office, face restrictions on families leaving en masse, and travels to Israel
Israel
must be done via a third country. However, the rate of emigration has been low. Between October 2005 and September 2006, 152 Jews
Jews
left Iran, down from 297 during the same period the previous year, and 183 the year before that. Most of those who left allegedly cited economic and family reasons as their main incentive for leaving. In July 2007, Iran's Jewish
Jewish
community rejected financial emigration incentives to leave Iran. Offers ranging from 5,000–30,000 British pounds, financed by a wealthy expatriate Jew
Jew
with the support of the Israeli government, were turned down by Iran's Jewish
Jewish
leaders.[84][85][86] To place the incentives in perspective, the sums offered were up to 3 times or more than the average annual income for an Iranian.[87] However, in late 2007 at least forty Iranian Jews
Jews
accepted financial incentives offered by Jewish
Jewish
charities for immigrating to Israel.[88] It has been asserted that the majority of Iranian Jews
Jews
prefer to stay because they are allowed to live a comfortable Jewish
Jewish
life, though Iranian-American activist Sam Kermanian disputed this claim, stating that the majority of Iranian Jews
Jews
are elderly and only speak Persian, and as a result are less naturally inclined to emigrate.[84] Jewish
Jewish
centers of Iran[edit] See also: List of synagogues in Iran Most Jews
Jews
live in Tehran, the capital.[89] Today[when?] Tehran
Tehran
has 11 functioning synagogues, many of them with Hebrew
Hebrew
schools. It has two kosher restaurants, an old-age home and a cemetery. There is a Jewish library with 20,000 titles.[58] Traditionally however, Shiraz, Hamedan, Isfahan, Tabriz, Nahawand, Babol
Babol
and some other cities of Iran
Iran
were home to large populations of Jews. At present[when?] there are 25 synagogues in Iran.[89] Esfahan
Esfahan
has a Jewish
Jewish
population of about 1,500, consisting mostly of businesspeople. As of 2015 there were 13 synagogues, including the primary synagogue on Palestine Square. In Esfahan, Many Jewish
Jewish
businesses are concentrated in an area called " Jewish
Jewish
Passage".[90] Jewish
Jewish
education in Iran[edit] In 1996, there were still three schools in Tehran
Tehran
in which Jews
Jews
were in a majority, but Jewish
Jewish
principals had been replaced. The school curriculum is Islamic and the Tanakh
Tanakh
is taught in Persian, rather than Hebrew. The Ozar Hatorah organization conducts Hebrew
Hebrew
lessons on Fridays. In principle, but with some exceptions, there is little restriction of or interference with the Jewish
Jewish
religious practice; however, education of Jewish
Jewish
children has become more difficult in recent years. The government reportedly allows Hebrew
Hebrew
instruction, recognizing that it is necessary for Jewish
Jewish
religious practice. However, it strongly discourages the distribution of Hebrew
Hebrew
texts, in practice making it difficult to teach the language. Moreover, the government has required that several Jewish
Jewish
schools remain open on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath, in conformity with the schedule of other schools in the school system. Since certain kinds of work (such as writing or using electrical appliances) on the Sabbath violates Jewish
Jewish
law, this requirement to operate the schools has made it difficult for observant Jews
Jews
both to attend school and adhere to a fundamental tenet of their religion.[91] Jewish
Jewish
sites of Iran[edit] Many cities in Iran
Iran
have Jewish
Jewish
or sites related to Judaism
Judaism
in some way. Prominent among these are Tomb of Esther
Esther
and Mordechai
Mordechai
in Hamadan, tomb of Daniel in Susa, tomb of Habakkuk
Habakkuk
in Tuyserkan
Tuyserkan
and the Peighambariyeh mausoleum in Qazvin. There is a pilgrimage site near Isfahan
Isfahan
(Pir Bakran) dedicated to Serah. There are also tombs of several outstanding Jewish
Jewish
scholars in Iran such as Harav Ohr Shraga in Yazd
Yazd
and Hakham Mullah Moshe Halevi (Moshe-Ha-Lavi) in Kashan, which are also visited by Muslim pilgrims.

The shrine of Habakkuk
Habakkuk
in Toyserkan.

The Tomb of Esther
Esther
and Mordechai
Mordechai
in Hamadan.

The Shrine of Daniel in Susa.

Peighambariyeh ("the place of the prophets"), Qazvin: Here, four Jewish
Jewish
prophets are said to be buried. Their Arabic names are: Salam, Solum, al-Qiya, and Sohuli.

On December 16, 2014, authorities in Tehran
Tehran
unveiled a monument to slain Iranian Jewish
Jewish
soldiers who died during the country's long and bitter war with Iraq between 1980 and 1988. Banners showed the images of fallen soldiers, hailed as "martyrs" in Farsi and Hebrew inscriptions. "We are not tenants in this country. We are Iranians, and we have been for 30 centuries,” said Ciamak Moresadegh, the Iranian Jewish
Jewish
parliamentarian. "There is a distinction between us as Jews
Jews
and Israel,” added a shopkeeper in the historic city of Isfahan. "We consider ourselves Iranian Jews, and it has nothing to do with Israel
Israel
whatsoever. This is the country we love."[92] Demographics[edit] The Jewish
Jewish
Encyclopedia estimated that in 1900 there were 35,000 Persian Jews
Jews
in Iran
Iran
(almost all of whom lived in present-day Iran),[93] although other sources estimate somewhat higher numbers for the same time. On the eve of Israel's independence in 1948, there were, by varying estimates, 100,000–150,000 Jews
Jews
in Iran
Iran
with relatively few Persian Jews
Jews
residing outside the country. Today, there are an estimated 300,000–350,000 Jews
Jews
of full or partial Persian ancestry living predominantly in Israel, with significant communities in the United States
United States
and Iran. Iranian Jews
Jews
also emigrated to form smaller communities in Western Europe (in particular Paris and London), and in Australia, Canada, and South America. A number of groups of Jews
Jews
of Persia
Persia
have split off since ancient times. They have been identified as separate communities, such as the Mountain Jews. In addition, there are a large number of people in Iran
Iran
who are, or who are the direct descendants of, Jews
Jews
who converted to Islam
Islam
or the Bahá'í faith.[94] Iran[edit] Iran's Jewish
Jewish
population was reduced from 100,000–150,000 in 1948 to about 80,000 immediately before the Iranian Revolution, due mostly to immigration to Israel. While immigration to Israel
Israel
had slowed in the 1970s and the Jewish
Jewish
population of Iran
Iran
had stabilized, the majority of Iran's remaining Jews
Jews
left the country in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Shah. In the 2000s, the Jewish
Jewish
population of Iran
Iran
was estimated by most sources to be 25,000,[49][50][51][52] (sources date from 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2006, respectively) though estimates varied, with some as low as 17,000 by 2010[95] and as high as 40,000 in 1998.[96] However, the official census in August 2012 indicated that there were only 8,756 Jews
Jews
still living in Iran.[54] Notable population centers include Tehran, Isfahan
Isfahan
(1,200),[97] and Shiraz. Historically, Jews
Jews
maintained a presence in many more Iranian cities. Jews
Jews
are protected in the Iranian constitution and allowed one seat in the Majlis.[50] After Israel, it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.[49] Israel[edit] Main article: Iranian Jews
Jews
in Israel The largest group of Persian Jews
Jews
is found in Israel. As of 2007, Israel
Israel
is home to just over 47,000 Iranian-born Jews
Jews
and roughly 87,000 Israeli-born Jews
Jews
with fathers born in Iran.[98] While these numbers add up to about 135,000, when Israelis with more distant or solely maternal Iranian roots are included the total number of Persian Jews
Jews
in Israel
Israel
is estimated to be between 200,000[1]-250,000.[2] A June 2009 Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times blog article about Iranian-Israeli Jews showing solidarity with the Iranian protestors said, "The Israeli community of Iranian Jews
Jews
numbers about 170,000 – including the first generation of Israeli-born – and is deeply proud of its roots."[99] The largest concentration of Persian Jews
Jews
in Israel
Israel
is found in the city Holon.[99] In Israel, Persian Jews
Jews
are classified as Mizrahim. Both former President Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav
and former Minister of Defense and former head of the opposition in the Knesset
Knesset
Shaul Mofaz are of Persian Jewish
Jewish
origin. Katsav was born in Yazd
Yazd
and Mofaz was born in Tehran. Since the 1970s, Persian Jews
Jews
in Israel
Israel
have traditionally tended to vote Likud.[100] The United States[edit] The United States
United States
is home to 60,000–80,000 Iranian Jews, most of whom have settled in the Greater Los Angeles
Los Angeles
area and in Great Neck, New York. Those in metropolitan Los Angeles
Los Angeles
have settled mostly in the affluent Westside cities of Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills
and Santa Monica and the Los Angeles Westside neighborhoods of Brentwood, Westwood, and West L.A., as well as the San Fernando Valley
San Fernando Valley
communities of Tarzana and Encino. Beverly Hills[edit] See also: History of the Iranians in Los Angeles
Los Angeles
and History of the Jews
Jews
in Los Angeles In particular, Persian Jews
Jews
make up a sizeable proportion of the population of Beverly Hills, California.[101][102][103][104] Persian Jews
Jews
constitute 26% of the total population of Beverly Hills.[105] Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, tens of thousands of Persian Jews
Jews
migrated from Iran, forming one of the wealthiest waves of immigrants to ever come to the United States.[106] The community is credited with revitalizing Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills
and re-developing its architecture, and for the development of ornate mansions across the city.[107] According to the US Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey, 26% of Beverly Hills' 34,000 residents are of Iranian origin.[105] On March 21, 2007, Jimmy Delshad, a Persian Jew
Jew
who immigrated to the United States
United States
in 1958, became the Mayor of Beverly Hills. This election made Delshad one of the highest ranking elected Iranian-American officials in the United States. He once again took the post of mayor of Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills
on March 16, 2010. Prominent Persian Jewish
Jewish
congregations in the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
area include Nessah Synagogue
Synagogue
and the Eretz-Siamak Cultural Center. Persian Jews also constitute a large part of the membership at Sinai Temple in Westwood, one of the largest Conservative congregations in the United States. New York[edit] Kings Point, a village constituting part of Great Neck, has the greatest percentage of Iranians in the United States
United States
(approximately 40%).[105] Unlike the Iranian community in Los Angeles, which contains a large number of non- Jewish
Jewish
Iranians, the Iranian population in and around Great Neck is almost entirely Jewish. Several thousand of the Great Neck area's 10,000 Persian Jews
Jews
trace their origins to the Iranian city of Mashad, constituting the largest Mashadi community in the United States.[108] After practicing Judaism in secret for almost 100 years, many of the Mashadi crypto-Jews returned to overt Judaism
Judaism
after the rise of the secular Pahlavi dynasty.[109] The Mashadi community in Great Neck operates its own synagogues and community centers, and members typically marry within the community.[110] Related Jewish
Jewish
communities[edit] Mountain Jews[edit] The Mountain Jews
Mountain Jews
of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
and the North Caucasus
North Caucasus
(primarily Dagestan) are direct descendants of Persian Jews. However, they maintained a Judeo- Persian language
Persian language
that shares a great deal of vocabulary and structure with modern Persian. Most Azerbaijani Jews have immigrated to Israel
Israel
since Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
gained independence.[111] Bukharan Jews[edit] Bukharan Jews
Bukharan Jews
traditionally speak a dialect of Judeo-Persian and lived mainly in the former emirate of Bukhara
Bukhara
(present day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan). Most Bukharan Jews
Bukharan Jews
have immigrated to Israel
Israel
or the United States
United States
since the collapse of the Soviet Union.[112] Lakhloukh
Lakhloukh
Jews[edit] There are estimated to be approximately four dozen Persian Jewish families living in Kazakhstan, which call themselves Lakhloukh
Lakhloukh
and speak Aramaic. They still hold identity papers from Iran, the country their ancestors left almost 80 years ago.[113] Languages[edit] Most Persian Jews
Jews
speak standard Persian as their primary tongue, but various Jewish languages
Jewish languages
have been associated with the community over time.[114][115] They include:

Dzhidi (Judæo-Persian) Bukhori
Bukhori
(Judæo-Bukharic) Judæo-Golpaygani Judæo-Shirazi Judæo-Hamedani Juhuri language
Juhuri language
(Judæo-Tat)

In addition, Persian Jews
Jews
in Israel
Israel
generally speak Hebrew, and Persian Jews
Jews
elsewhere will tend to speak the local language (e.g. English in the United States) with sprinkles of Persian and Hebrew. Notable Persian Jews[edit]

Rita Jahanforuz, an Israeli pop-star of Persian descent

Biblical[edit]

Daniel Esther Habakkuk Mordechai Ezra Nehemiah Haggai

Pre-modern era[edit]

Benjamin Nahawandi – Karaite scholar of the early Middle Ages Mashallah ibn Athari
Mashallah ibn Athari
– Persian astrologer and astronomer Meulana Shahin Shirazi – Early Persian poet Rashid al-Din – Doctor, writer, and historian Sa'ad al-Dawla – Physician and statesman Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tabrizi – Philosopher and translator, converted to Islam.

Politics and military[edit]

Abie Nathan
Abie Nathan
– Humanitarian and peace activist Siamak Moreh Sedgh Jewish
Jewish
member of the Majlis of Iran Dan Halutz
Dan Halutz
– Former chief of staff of the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces David Alliance, Baron Alliance – Iranian born British businessman and a Liberal Democrat politician David Nahai – Former head of the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power Eitan Ben Eliyahu
Eitan Ben Eliyahu
– Former Major General in the Israeli Defence Forces Haroun Yashayaei – Chairman of the board of the Tehran
Tehran
Jewish Committee and leader of Iran's Jewish
Jewish
Community Jimmy Delshad – Former two-term mayor of Beverly Hills Makan Delrahim - United States
United States
Assistant Attorney General for the United States
United States
Department of Justice Antitrust Division under the Trump Administration Manuchehr Eliasi – Former Jewish
Jewish
member of the Majlis Maurice Motamed – Former Jewish
Jewish
member of the Majlis of Iran Michael Ben-Ari
Michael Ben-Ari
– Israeli politician and current member of the Knesset Mordechai
Mordechai
Zar – Israeli politician and former member of the Knesset Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav
– Former President of Israel Saeed Emami – Former conservative Deputy Minister of Intelligence (convert to Islam) Shaul Mofaz
Shaul Mofaz
– Former Israeli Minister of Defense, currently the chairman of the Kadima
Kadima
Party in the Knesset Anna Kaplan – Councilwoman, Town of North Hempstead[116]

Science and academia[edit]

Amnon Netzer
Amnon Netzer
– Professor of the history and culture of Iranian Jews Avshalom Elitzur
Avshalom Elitzur
– Physicist and philosopher David B. Samadi
David B. Samadi
– Expert in robotic oncology[117] Samuel Rahbar – Discoverer of HbA1C Shaul Bakhash – Professor of Iranian studies at George Mason University Soleiman Haim
Soleiman Haim
– Compiled an early and influential Persian language dictionary Farshid Delshad
Farshid Delshad
– Historical-Comparative Linguistics
Linguistics
in German

Business and economics[edit]

David Alliance – British Business Man J. Darius Bikoff – Founder and CEO of Energy Brands Ben Shaoul – Co-founder of Magnum Real Estate Group Fred Ohebshalom – Founder of Empire
Empire
Management Real Estate David Merage – Co-founder of Hot Pockets
Hot Pockets
snack food company Ghermezian family – Billionaire shopping mall developers Habib Elghanian
Habib Elghanian
– Prominent businessman executed by the Islamic Republic Isaac Larian Chief Executive Officer of MGA Entertainment Joseph Parnes – Investment Advisor Nasser David Khalili
Nasser David Khalili
– Billionaire property developer and art collector Neil Kadisha – Businessman Nouriel Roubini
Nouriel Roubini
– Economist Paul Merage – Co-founder of Hot Pockets
Hot Pockets
snack food company Vincent Tchenguiz – Chairman of Consensus Business Group Robert Tchenguiz – Co-chairman of Rotch Property Group

Art and entertainment[edit]

Adi Nes
Adi Nes
– Photographer Bahar Soomekh – Actress Bob Yari – Film producer Dalia Sofer – Writer Shahram Shiva - Performance Poet Dan Ahdoot – Stand-up comedian Elham Yaghoubian- Writer Elie Tahari
Elie Tahari
– High-end fashion designer[118] Gina Nahai – Writer Jonathan Ahdout – Actor Mor Karbasi
Mor Karbasi
– Singer Richard Danielpour – Composer Rita – Israeli pop-star Roya Hakakian
Roya Hakakian
– Writer Shaun Toub
Shaun Toub
– Actor Subliminal (rapper)
Subliminal (rapper)
– Israeli hip-hop singer Tami Stronach – Choreographer Yossi Banai – Israeli performer, singer, and actor

Religion[edit]

Shmuley Boteach
Shmuley Boteach
– Famous American Rabbi Uriel Davidi
Uriel Davidi
– Former chief rabbi of Iran Yedidia Shofet
Yedidia Shofet
– Former chief rabbi of Iran Yousef Hamadani Cohen – Former chief rabbi of Iran Mashallah Golestani-Nejad - Current chief rabbi of Iran Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron
Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron
- Previous Sephardic Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
of Israel

Miscellaneous[edit]

Janet Kohan-Sedq – Track and field athlete Menashe Amir
Menashe Amir
– Persian-language broadcaster in Israel Soleyman Binafard – Wrestler

See also[edit]

Iran– Israel
Israel
relations History of the Jews
Jews
in Iran Islam
Islam
and Judaism Judæo-Iranian languages Judæo-Persian languages Judeo-Persian dialects List of Asian Jews Mountain Jews Persian people Purim Religious minorities in Iran Allahdad incident Shiraz
Shiraz
blood libel Tehran
Tehran
Jewish
Jewish
Committee Dr. Sapir Hospital and Charity Center List of Chief Rabbis of Iran List of Synagogues in Tehran List of Synagogues in Iran Jews
Jews
of Iran 30 Years After Madare sefr darajeh International Holocaust Cartoon Competition

References[edit]

^ a b c "Iranian Jews
Jews
Living in U.S. Have Complex Feelings About Mideast Crisis". Fox News. August 7, 2006.  ^ a b Why are people going to Iran?. Jpost.com. Retrieved on 2011-05-29. ^ a b " Jewish
Jewish
woman brutally murdered in Iran
Iran
over property dispute". The Times of Israel. November 28, 2012. Retrieved Aug 16, 2014. A government census published earlier this year indicated there were a mere 8,756 Jews
Jews
left in Iran  ^ Sarshar, Houman (November 30, 2012). "Judeo-Persian Communities. i. Introduction". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 23 October 2016.  ^ Iranian Australian shows that 3% of them are Jewish ^ "Persian Gates". Forward.com. 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2013-03-09.  ^ Kevin Alan Brook. The Jews
Jews
of Khazaria Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006 ISBN 1442203021 p. 233 ^ "Բեն Օլանդերի հատուկ ներկայացումը Նյու Յորքում նվիրված Ռաուլ Վալլենբերգին,Երեքշաբթի 9 Նոյեմբերի 2010 թ". Friends-of-armenia.org. Retrieved 30 December 2017.  ^ "EGHEGIS, [EGHEGIZ, YEGHEGIS, ELEGIS:, Siwnik] - armenia - International Jewish
Jewish
Cemetery Project". Iajgsjewishcemeteryproject.org. Retrieved 30 December 2017.  ^ James Stuart Olson, Lee Brigance Pappas, Nicholas Charles Pappas. An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994 ISBN 0313274975 p. 305 ^ Begley, Sharon. (7 August 2012) Genetic study offers clues to history of North Africa's Jews
Jews
Reuters. In.reuters.com. Retrieved on 2013-04-16. ^ The Jews
Jews
of Iraq. Dangoor.com. Retrieved on 2011-05-29. ^ Iran
Iran
on the Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Britannica.com. Retrieved on 2011-05-29. ^ Iran
Iran
– Jews. Country-data.com. Retrieved on 2011-05-29. ^ Grabbe, Lester L. (2004). A History of the Jews
Jews
and Judaism
Judaism
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References[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Persia". Jewish
Jewish
Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.  Levy, Habib (1999). Comprehensive History of the Jews
Jews
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Jews
of Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-00807-3.  Littman, David (1979). " Jews
Jews
Under Muslim Rule: The Case Of Persia". The Wiener Library Bulletin. XXXII (New series 49/50).  Foltz, Richard (2013). Religions of Iran: From Prehistory to the Present. London: Oneworld publications. ISBN 978-1-78074-308-0.  Sanasarian, Eliz (2000). Religious Minorities in Iran. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-77073-6.  Shalom, Sabar. "Esther's Children: A Portrait of Iranian Jews (review)". The Jewish
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Quarterly Review. 95 (2, Spring 2005).  Wasserstein, Bernard (2003). "Evolving Jewish
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Ethnicities or Jewish Ethnicity: End of the Road?". Conference on Contextualizing Ethnicity: Discussions across Disciplines, Center for the International Study of Ethnicity. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.  Willis, Charles James (2002). Persia
Persia
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Modern Persian
Life and Character. Cambridge: Adamant Media Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4021-9297-5.  Karmel Melamed, Persian Jews
Jews
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Jews
of Iran. The History, Religion, and Culture of a Community in the Islamic World. I.B. Tauris, London/New York 2014, ISBN 978-1-78076-888-5

External links[edit]

Sephardic Studies, Iran History of the Iranian Jews Parthia
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Media

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on YouTube Pictures of Persian Jews Iranian Jewish
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