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Malka, the son of the longtime chief rabbi of the Sudanese Jews, is a retired businessman who has been deeply involved in world trade and Jewish communal activities. His work is a blend of autobiography, detailed record keeping, and the anecdotal history of a small Sudanese community that exists no more. Malka concentrates on the early part of the century, when Jews accounted for only a handful of the total Sudanese population. Most of them hailed from the larger cosmopolitan environments of Egypt, and most had emigrated by the 1960s, owing to increased tensions in the Mideast. Malka offers plenty of charming stories centering around the hospitality of the Malka household, where Jews from the world over were welcomed and a variety of languages, including Arabic and French, were spoken. Despite its almost folksy tone, this work would be best appreciated by scholars in the field. Recommended for libraries with comprehensive holdings in Jewish studies.?Paul M. Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., Ill.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Malka was born in the Sudan in 1910; his father was that nation's chief rabbi from 1906 to 1949. Malka chronicles the Sephardic Jewish community's history from its beginning in 1885 (when there were only eight families) to the late 1960s, when the Jews left the Sudan for more hospitable countries. Malka writes about his father's prominent role in the community and in the building of Khartoum's lavish synagogue and the community's growth, which peaked in the 1930s and 1940s. The author digresses a bit in his discussion of the Jews of Ethiopia, Aden, Yemen, and Eritrea and in his discourse on the growth of the B'nai B'rith in the Sudan, Egypt, France, and the U.S. The book's final chapters are autobiographical as Malka focuses first on his childhood, then on his travels, career, marriage, and family, offering descriptions of Sephardic life and culture. To have 50 illustrations. George Cohen