Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jerusalem’s “Little Rascals” 80 Years Ago

"Tenement children just home from school,"
Bukharan Quarter
Among the 22,000 Matson-Library of Congress pictures, are wonderful 80-100 year old pictures of Jewish children in Jerusalem and new Jewish villages.  These two photographs were taken in the Bukharan neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Click on the photos to enlarge. Click on the caption to see the original.
Bukhari Jews, an ancient community from what is today the Central Asian country Uzbekistan, started moving to the Holy Land in the mid-1800s.  After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, more Bukharis moved to Israel where their community is estimated to number 100,000.
"Children just out of school," Bukhari Quarter
In 1891, as Jews began to move out of the walls of the Old City, Bukhari Jews purchased a large tract of land in Jerusalem from the Turkish authorities and began to build institutions and homes. 
The sign on the school building reads “Talmud Torah for ultra-Orthodox boys and Kindergarten, established in 5691 (1931)."
The pictures bring to mind a popular Israeli song of nostalgia by Yossi Banai (1932-2006) called “Me and Simon and Little Moiz.” [English subtitles provided.] Banai grew up in the area of the shuk in Jerusalem, not far from where these pictures were taken.
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