Iran's 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 member of the parliament, replacing Maurice Motamed in the election. In , former Jewish MP Manuchehr Eliasi estimated that at that time there were still 60,—85, Jews in Iran; most other sources put the figure at 25, Sapir Jewish Hospital" is Iran 's largest charity hospital of any religious minority community in the country;  however, most of its patients and staff are Muslim.
The Jews of Iran have been best known for certain occupations like making gold jewellery and dealing in antiques, textiles and carpets. Jews are conscripted into the Iranian army like all Iranian citizens. Many Iranian Jews fought during the Iran-Iraq war — as drafted soldiers, and about 15 were killed. Most Iranian Jews say that they view Iran as their home and are allowed to practice Judaism freely, but there is suspicion and fear too.
Rabbis from the Haredi sect Neturei Karta , which has historically been opposed to the existence of Israel have visited Iran on several occasions.
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Maurice Motamed , a former Jewish Iranian parliamentarian states that in recent years, the Iranian government has allowed Jewish Iranians to visit their family members in Israel and it has also allowed those Iranians who are living in Israel to return to Iran for a visit. Limited cultural contacts are also allowed, such as the March Jewish folk dance festival in Russia, in which a female team from Iran participated. Thirteen Jews have been executed in Iran since the Islamic revolution, most of them were executed for their alleged connections to Israel.
Among them, one of the most prominent Jews of Iran in the s, Habib Elghanian who was the head of the Iranian Jewish community was executed by a firing squad by the Islamic government shortly after the Islamic Revolution of on the charge of having been in contact with Israel, among others.
In May , Jewish businessman Ruhollah Kadkhodah-Zadeh was hanged in prison without a public charge or legal proceeding, apparently for assisting Jews to emigrate. Iranian Jews are generally allowed to travel to 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 must be done via a third country.
However, the rate of emigration has been low. Between October and September , Jews left Iran, down from during the same period the previous year, and the year before that. Most of those who left allegedly cited economic and family reasons as their main incentives for leaving. In July , Iran's Jewish community rejected financial emigration incentives to leave Iran.
Offers ranging from 5,—30, British pounds, financed by a wealthy expatriate Jew with the support of the Israeli government, were turned down by Iran's Jewish leaders.
Most Jews live in Tehran , the capital. It has two kosher restaurants, an old-age home and a cemetery. There is a Jewish library with 20, titles. At present [ when?
As of there were 13 synagogues, including the primary synagogue on Palestine Square. In , there were still three schools in Tehran in which Jews were in a majority, but Jewish principals had been replaced.
The school curriculum is Islamic and the Tanakh is taught in Persian , rather than Hebrew. The Ozar Hatorah organization conducts Hebrew lessons on Fridays. In principle, but with some exceptions, there is little restriction of or interference with the Jewish religious practice; however, education of Jewish children has become more difficult in recent years. The government reportedly allows Hebrew instruction, recognizing that it is necessary for Jewish religious practice. However, it strongly discourages the distribution of Hebrew texts, in practice making it difficult to teach the language.
Moreover, the government has required that several 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 law, this requirement to operate the schools has made it difficult for observant Jews both to attend school and adhere to a fundamental tenet of their religion.
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Many cities in Iran have Jewish or sites related to Judaism in some way. There is a pilgrimage site near Isfahan Pir Bakran dedicated to Serah. The shrine of Habakkuk in Toyserkan. The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan. The Shrine of Daniel in Susa. Peighambariyeh "the place of the prophets" , Qazvin : Here, four Jewish prophets are said to be buried. On December 16, , authorities in Tehran unveiled a monument to slain Iranian Jewish soldiers who died during the country's long and bitter war with Iraq between and Banners showed the images of fallen soldiers, hailed as " martyrs " in Farsi and Hebrew inscriptions.
We are Iranians, and we have been for 30 centuries," said Ciamak Moresadegh , the Iranian Jewish parliamentarian. This is the country we love. The Jewish Encyclopedia estimated that in there were 35, Persian Jews in Iran almost all of whom lived in present-day Iran ,  although other sources estimate somewhat higher numbers for the same time. On the eve of Israel's independence in , there were, by varying estimates, ,—, Jews in Iran with relatively few Persian Jews residing outside the country. Today, there are an estimated ,—, Jews of full or partial Persian ancestry living predominantly in Israel, with significant communities in the United States and Iran.
A number of groups of Jews of Persia have split off since ancient times. They have been identified as separate communities, such as the Mountain Jews. Iran's Jewish population was reduced from ,—, in to about 80, immediately before the Iranian Revolution , due mostly to immigration to Israel. While immigration to Israel had slowed in the s and the Jewish population of Iran had stabilized, the majority of Iran's remaining Jews left the country in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Shah.
In the s, the Jewish population of Iran was estimated by most sources to be 25,,     sources date from , , , and , respectively though estimates varied, with some as low as 17, by  and as high as 40, in Historically, Jews maintained a presence in many more Iranian cities. Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution and allowed one seat in the Majlis.
The largest group of Persian Jews is found in Israel. As of , Israel is home to just over 47, Iranian-born Jews and roughly 87, Israeli-born Jews with fathers born in Iran. A June Los Angeles Times blog article about Iranian-Israeli Jews showing solidarity with the Iranian protestors said, "The Israeli community of Iranian Jews numbers about , — including the first generation of Israeli-born — and is deeply proud of its roots.
Katsav was born in Yazd and Mofaz was born in Tehran. Since at least the s, Persian Jews in Israel have traditionally tended to vote Likud. In particular, Persian Jews make up a sizeable proportion of the population of Beverly Hills, California. 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 on March 16, 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.
Several thousand of the Great Neck area's 10, Persian Jews trace their origins to the Iranian city of Mashad , constituting the largest Mashadi community in the United States. The organisation's goal is to be a unifier amongst Iranian Jews in the Greater New York metropolitan area and engagement in philanthropic activities.
However, they maintained a Judeo-Persian language that shares a great deal of vocabulary and structure with modern Persian. Most Azerbaijani Jews have immigrated to Israel since Azerbaijan gained independence. Bukharan Jews traditionally speak a dialect of Judeo-Persian and lived mainly in the former emirate of Bukhara present day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. There are estimated to be approximately four dozen Persian Jewish families living in Kazakhstan , which call themselves Lakhloukh and speak Aramaic. They still hold identity papers from Iran, the country their ancestors left almost 80 years ago.
Most Persian Jews speak standard Persian as their primary tongue, but various Jewish languages have been associated with the community over time. In addition, Persian Jews in Israel generally speak Hebrew , and Persian Jews elsewhere will tend to speak the local language e. English in the United States with sprinkles of Persian and Hebrew. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the film, see Jews of Iran film. Jews associated with the Persian and Iranian states. Main article: History of Jews in Iran.
Main article: Second Temple. Main article: Exilarch. See also: List of synagogues in Iran.
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