(Ottoman Empire) Lists of Young Jewish Men Exemptions #announcements #records

Jan Meisels Allen


The Jewish Telegraphic Agency combined lists of Jewish surnames from the cities of Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo and Alexandria with more to come.  They made the lists into a searchable database: https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/5791607/

Originally the four lists were first published by the website Avotaynu Online


In the late 1800’s the Ottoman Empire was looking to conscript men into its army including young Jewish men from the city of Baghdad.  The Jewish community did not like this idea so it arranged to pay authorities for exemptions.  Rabbi Shlomo Bekhor Husin of Baghdad documented the exemptions, carefully jotting each down name in medieval Rashi script.  The lists survived and are now in the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem on microfilm.


Retired Israeli diplomat-- he served as Israel’s ambassador to Jordan from 2006 to 2009-- and independent researcher-- Jacob Rosen-Koenigsbuch has read and translated every single one of the nearly 3,500 names on Husin’s lists.  Rosen-Koenigsbuch published the list of Jewish surnames from the aforementioned four cities..the cities of Basra, Mosul and Erbil are up next.


To read more see:



Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee