How two Jewish men reconnected with their Arab roots

Thirty-five-year-old Jonas remembers the year he started giving Arabic lessons in Paris. A colleague at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations had teased his future students: “This year, JewsTwo widely held misconceptions persist about Jews from the MaghrebThe other is the idea that many Jews continue to live there. In Algeria, although precise figures are impossible to obtain, the Jewish population is all but extinct [2]. In Tunisia, which was once home to a thriving community of around 100,000 Jews back in 1956, only 1,300 remain. As for Morocco, it may well shelter the biggest Jewish community in the Arab world, but it too has witnessed a mass exodus. Only 3,000 still live in the kingdom today. That may partly explain why Jonas, whose father is from Morocco and whose mother is from Poland, no longer has any family living on the other…

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