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Yad Vashem Monastir. The Story of a Sephardic Community in Macedonia

History of the Monastir Community

Monastir in the 19th century Monastir in the 19th century

This is the story of a community of many years and a multitude of virtues, a community that did not allow poverty or other troubles to disturb its Jewish traditions, the story of a community that was almost completely destroyed.

Jews expelled from Spain who settled in Monastir found a small Jewish community there. Throughout its existence, Monastir's Jews maintained ties with other Jewish communities across the Ottoman Empire, with the town’s rabbis gaining particular prominence. The community grew steadily, comprising over 10,000 souls by the beginning of the 20th century; however, most of them emigrated from the town before World War II. Despite the grueling conditions and internal strife, the Jews of Monastir were diligent in their charitable support of one another.

This is the history of a community that once was, and is no longer. These are the stories of the Jews of Monastir.

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.