Sunday, October 17, 2010

(BLOG) The ‘Arab Jew' From Algeria

"Aharon Chelouche founded Neveh Tzedek, and his son Yosef Eliahu helped found Tel Aviv.

Sometime in the 1840s, in the teeming Algerian port town of Oran, a young Jewish boy named Aharon Chelouche boarded a ship bound for Haifa with his family. Half a century before the publication of Herzl’s Zionist novel Altneuland, the Chelouches and 149 other Jewish families were making aliya to Eretz Israel, then an unimportant backwater of the Ottoman Empire.

When they reached Haifa, tragedy struck. The boat carrying them ashore capsized and several passengers were drowned, among them Aharon’s brothers, nine-year-old Yosef and seven-year-old Eliahu.

Grief-stricken, the Chelouches did not want to remain in Haifa. They moved to Nablus, then Jerusalem, and finally settled in the ancient seaport town of Jaffa."

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