Jews of Algeria - Orientation

Identification. The Jews of Algeria are a very diverse cultural group, owing in part to Algeria's turbulent history. They have experienced the several cultures and languages under diverse rulers, beginning with the autochthonous Berbers, and followed by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Turks, and, finally, the French and the Europeans. Today they constitute the most Westernized Jewish community originating from North Africa and are established mostly in France. Small groups have also immigrated to Israel and to North and South America.

Location. The Jews of Algeria have long lived in the central part of North Africa, between Morocco on Algeria's western border and Tunisia on its east. The largest Jewish communities in Algeria were established in the major cities of the Mediterranean coast (Oran, Algiers, Bejaïa, Annaba, Mostaganem), as well as in cities of the hinterland like Tlemcen and Constantine. There were also Jews in the remote southern fringes of the Sahara, in Biskra, Bou-Saada, Djelfa, and in the Mzab, in Ghardaïa. Less than one hundred Jews are left in Algeria today, after their emigration en masse in the early 1960s. Most live in Algiers and in Oran.

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