29 June 2007

The Jews of Libya: A rare glimpse

Little-known communities hold special interest for genealogists interested in Jewish history.

The recent documentary, The Last Jews of Libya, is narrated by Isabella Rossellini and directed by Vivienne Roumani-Denn.

It traces the final decades of an ancient Sephardic community seen through the eyes of the Roumani family. By the end of WWII, about 36,000 Jews lived there - there are none today.

Based on memoirs of family matriarch Elise Roumani, it offers interviews in English, Hebrew, Italian, Arabic, as well as archival film and photographs.

The family is from Benghazi and the film traces them from Ottoman rule through Mussolini and Hitler to their immigration when faced with Arab nationalism.

To learn more, click here.

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