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It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908

Year 2021, Volume , Issue 9, 6 - 19, 16.06.2022

Abstract

The westernization and modernization of the Ottoman Empire that increased in intensity from the end of the 18th century onward had a profound impact on Ottoman Jewry. From the mid-19th century, the ‘Alliance Israélite Universelle,’ an organization aimed at providing Western-style education and fostering openness and progress in new cultures all over the Spanish world, began its activities among the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire. The Alliance established a network of modern schools, which played a fundamental role in the westernization and modernization processes of the local communities. The origin of all these dramatic changes was during the Tanzimat period (1839-1876). The reorganization of Ottoman society through technical, administrative, and educational reforms backed and approved by the European powers enabled the changes within the Jewish communities as well. The overthrow of Abdülhamid II's autocratic regime in 1908 by the 'Young Turks' started the second constitutional period (1908-1918). This period was witness to intensive social and ideological agitation, which, among other social processes, accelerated the growth of women's associations, opened universities to women, and incorporated women in the workforce. More importantly, discussions on women and family were produced by writers with Western, Islamic, and Turkish orientations. However, modernization was tested first and foremost in family relationships. This was the beginning of a multi-level cultural transformation for the Jewish communities all over the empire. This transformation was similar to the “Enlightenment movement” within the European Jewish communities because it transformed the traditional cultural patterns and opened the formerly closed communities to new ideologies and experiences. Importantly, this transformation manifested itself, among other areas, in women’s emancipation. It appears that progress and modernization were more profound in Izmir (Smyrna) than in other regions. More specifically, during the 19th century, Izmir became an important metropolis, as well as one of the most renowned cultural and commercial centers, not only in the Ottoman Empire, but in the entire world. The flourishing of Izmir in cultural and financial spheres attracted many Jews, as well as other minorities such as Armenians, Greeks, and, of course, Turks. Therefore, Izmir was chosen to be a case study for the rest of the communities in the Ottoman Empire. In contrast to the other surrounding communities, the role Sephardic-Jewish women played in the process of women’s emancipation had no national motive. They did not take part in the forming of the national identity, as feminism was perceived in Mediterranean countries in the 19th century and onward. The women’s emancipation of the Izmir community was reflected culturally only and only amongst the elite of Jewish society. This study examines the cultural process that the Jewish women underwent from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th in Izmir, as well as the rabbis' response to this process. The study’s main source is based on the press in Ladino in İzmir, the leading city of journal publication (in Ladino) in the Ottoman Empire. The focus is on El Komersial [The Commercial] newspaper, which was the journal of the cultural elite of Izmir and in which progressive notions gained maximum expression.

References

  • Alkalai, Aryeh. Imrot u'Fitgamim Shel Yehudei Sfarad [Sayings and proverbs of the Jews of Spain] (Jerusalem: Vaad Adat haSfaradim Press, 1984)
  • El KomersialGoffman, Daniel, “Izmir: From Village to Colonial Port City” in The Ottoman City Between East and West- Allepo, Izmir and Istanbul Edhem Eldem, eds. Daniel Goffman and Bruce Masters (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)
  • Hatem, Mervat F., “Modernization, the State, and the Family in Middle East Women’s Studies” in The Social History of the Modern Middle East, ed. M. L. Meriwether and J. E. Tucker (Colorado: Westview Press, 1999)
  • Hazan, Gizel. E. Aaron de Yosef Hazan- Izmir 1600-2000 (Izmir, 2000)
  • Malino, Frances, “Teachers of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, 1872-1940” in Jewish Women in Historical Perspective Jewish Women in Historical Perspective, 2nd ed., ed. J. R. Baskin (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998)
  • Moscona, Issac. Pniney Sfarad [the Wisdom of Spain] (Tel Aviv: Maariv Press, 1981)
  • Rodrigue Aaron, Hinuch. Hevra v’Historia- ‘Kol Israel Haverim’ v’Yehudey Agan haYam haTichon 1820-1929 [Education, Society and History- “Alliance Israélite Universelle” and Mediterranean Jewry 1860-1929] (Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute, 199)
  • Palacci, Joseph. Yoseph et Echav [Joseph and his Brothers] (Izmir, 1896)
  • Palacci, Abraham. Avraham Ezkor [I Will Remember Abraham] (Izmir, 1889)
  • Rafael, Samuel, “haTchiya - Maasaf Sifruti L’Nashim Ziyoniyot b’Saloniki [The Renaissance - a Literary Compendium for Zionist Women in Salonica].” Pe’amim, vol. 82 (2000)

"Yahudi Olmak Çok Zor, Ama Yahudi Kadın Olmak Daha Da Zor..." 1899-1908 'Jön Türk Devriminin Öncesinde İzmir Toplumu İçindeki Yahudi Kadın Kimliği

Year 2021, Volume , Issue 9, 6 - 19, 16.06.2022

Abstract

18. yüzyılın sonlarından itibaren yoğunluğu artan Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nun Batılılaşması ve modernleşmesi Osmanlı Yahudilerini derinden etkilemiştir. 19. yüzyılın ortalarından itibaren, Batı tarzı eğitim sağlamayı ve İspanyol dünyasının her yerinde yeni kültürlerde açıklık ve ilerlemeyi teşvik etmeyi amaçlayan kuruluş olan 'Alliance Israélite Universelle', Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'ndaki Yahudi toplulukları arasında eylemlerine başladı. İttifak, yerel toplulukların Batılılaşma ve modernleşme süreçlerinde temel bir rol oynayan bir modern okullar ağı kurdu. Tüm bu dramatik değişikliklerin kökeni Tanzimat döneminde (1839-1876) olmuştur. Avrupalı güçler tarafından desteklenen ve onaylanan teknik, idari ve eğitim reformları yoluyla Osmanlı toplumunun yeniden düzenlenmesi, Yahudi cemaatlerinde de değişikliklere olanak sağladı. 1908'de II. Abdülhamid'in otokratik rejiminin 'Jön Türkler' tarafından devrilmesi, ikinci meşrutiyet dönemini (1908-1918) başlattı. Bu dönem, diğer toplumsal süreçlerin yanı sıra kadın derneklerinin büyümesini hızlandıran, kadınlara üniversiteler açan ve kadınları işgücüne dahil eden yoğun bir toplumsal ve ideolojik uyarılmaya tanık oldu. Daha da önemlisi, kadın ve aile üzerine tartışmalar Batılı, İslami ve Türk yönelimli yazarlar tarafından üretildi. Ancak modernleşme her şeyden önce aile ilişkilerinde denendi. Bu, imparatorluğun her yerindeki Yahudi toplulukları için çok düzeyli bir kültürel dönüşümün başlangıcıydı. Bu dönüşüm, geleneksel kültürel kalıpları dönüştürdüğü ve daha önce kapalı olan toplulukları yeni ideolojilere ve deneyimlere açtığı için Avrupa Yahudi topluluklarındaki “Aydınlanma hareketi”ne benziyordu. Daha da önemlisi bu dönüşüm diğer alanların yanı sıra kadınların kurtuluşunda kendini gösterdi. İzmir'de (Smirni) ilerleme ve modernleşmenin diğer bölgelere göre daha derin olduğu görülmektedir. Daha özel olarak, 19. yüzyılda İzmir, sadece Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nun değil, tüm dünyanın en önemli kültür ve ticaret merkezlerinden biri olmasının yanı sıra önemli bir metropol haline geldi. İzmir'in kültürel ve finansal alanlardaki gelişimi, birçok Yahudi'nin yanı sıra Ermeniler, Rumlar ve tabii ki Türkler gibi diğer azınlıkları da kendisine çekti. Bu nedenle İzmir, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'ndaki diğer topluluklar için bir örnek olay incelemesi olarak seçilmiştir. Çevredeki diğer toplulukların tersine, Sefarad-Yahudi kadınların kurtuluşu / özgürleşmesi sürecinde oynadıkları rolün ulusal bir nedeni yoktu. Feminizm 19. yüzyıl ve sonrasında Akdeniz ülkelerinde algılanırken onlar ulusal kimliğin oluşumunda yer almadılar. İzmir cemaatinin kadınların özgürleşmesi, kültürel olarak yalnızca ve yalnızca Yahudi toplumunun seçkinleri arasında yansıtıldı. Bu çalışma, 19. yüzyılın sonundan 20. yüzyılın başına kadar İzmir'de Yahudi kadınların geçirdiği kültürel süreci ve hahamların bu sürece tepkisini incelemektedir. Çalışmanın ana kaynağı, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nun önde gelen dergi yayıncılığı (Ladino) kenti olan İzmir'deki Ladino'daki basına dayanmaktadır. Odak noktası, İzmir'in kültürel seçkinlerinin dergisi olan ve ilerici fikirlerin maksimum düzeyde ifade kazandığı El Komersial [Ticari] gazetesidir.

References

  • Alkalai, Aryeh. Imrot u'Fitgamim Shel Yehudei Sfarad [Sayings and proverbs of the Jews of Spain] (Jerusalem: Vaad Adat haSfaradim Press, 1984)
  • El KomersialGoffman, Daniel, “Izmir: From Village to Colonial Port City” in The Ottoman City Between East and West- Allepo, Izmir and Istanbul Edhem Eldem, eds. Daniel Goffman and Bruce Masters (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)
  • Hatem, Mervat F., “Modernization, the State, and the Family in Middle East Women’s Studies” in The Social History of the Modern Middle East, ed. M. L. Meriwether and J. E. Tucker (Colorado: Westview Press, 1999)
  • Hazan, Gizel. E. Aaron de Yosef Hazan- Izmir 1600-2000 (Izmir, 2000)
  • Malino, Frances, “Teachers of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, 1872-1940” in Jewish Women in Historical Perspective Jewish Women in Historical Perspective, 2nd ed., ed. J. R. Baskin (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998)
  • Moscona, Issac. Pniney Sfarad [the Wisdom of Spain] (Tel Aviv: Maariv Press, 1981)
  • Rodrigue Aaron, Hinuch. Hevra v’Historia- ‘Kol Israel Haverim’ v’Yehudey Agan haYam haTichon 1820-1929 [Education, Society and History- “Alliance Israélite Universelle” and Mediterranean Jewry 1860-1929] (Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute, 199)
  • Palacci, Joseph. Yoseph et Echav [Joseph and his Brothers] (Izmir, 1896)
  • Palacci, Abraham. Avraham Ezkor [I Will Remember Abraham] (Izmir, 1889)
  • Rafael, Samuel, “haTchiya - Maasaf Sifruti L’Nashim Ziyoniyot b’Saloniki [The Renaissance - a Literary Compendium for Zionist Women in Salonica].” Pe’amim, vol. 82 (2000)

Details

Primary Language English
Subjects History
Journal Section Araştırma Makaleleri
Authors

Efrat AVIV This is me
Department of History, Bar Ilan University Ramat Gan, Israel
0000-0003-2379-6390
Israel

Early Pub Date June 16, 2022
Publication Date June 16, 2022
Published in Issue Year 2021, Volume , Issue 9

Cite

Bibtex @research article { israiliyat1131689, journal = {İsrailiyat}, eissn = {2645-890X}, address = {Kırbaşı Cad 151/20 Karatay Konya}, publisher = {Huriye KULU}, year = {2022}, number = {9}, pages = {6 - 19}, title = {It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908}, key = {cite}, author = {Avıv, Efrat} }
APA Avıv, E. (2022). It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908 . İsrailiyat , (9) , 6-19 . Retrieved from http://dergi.israiliyat.com/en/pub/issue/70324/1131689
MLA Avıv, E. "It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908" . İsrailiyat (2022 ): 6-19 <http://dergi.israiliyat.com/en/pub/issue/70324/1131689>
Chicago Avıv, E. "It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908". İsrailiyat (2022 ): 6-19
RIS TY - JOUR T1 - It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908 AU - Efrat Avıv Y1 - 2022 PY - 2022 N1 - DO - T2 - İsrailiyat JF - Journal JO - JOR SP - 6 EP - 19 VL - IS - 9 SN - -2645-890X M3 - UR - Y2 - 2022 ER -
EndNote %0 Israiliyat It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908 %A Efrat Avıv %T It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908 %D 2022 %J İsrailiyat %P -2645-890X %V %N 9 %R %U
ISNAD Avıv, Efrat . "It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908". İsrailiyat / 9 (June 2022): 6-19 .
AMA Avıv E. It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908. ISRAILIYAT. 2022; (9): 6-19.
Vancouver Avıv E. It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908. İsrailiyat. 2022; (9): 6-19.
IEEE E. Avıv , "It's Very Hard to Be a Jew, But It's Even Harder Being a Jewish Woman...’ Jewish Women Identity within the Izmir Community, on the Eve of ‘Young Turk Revolution’ 1899-1908", İsrailiyat, no. 9, pp. 6-19, Jun. 2022

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