Personal Stories

Because the Jewish community of Lebanon was always small, it was also tight knit. Lebanese identity has always been important to Lebanese Jews many whom are still engaged with their homeland. However, with each passing day life in Lebanon for many Jews is becoming merely a memory. Life has been re-made in the United States, Israel and many other places although the last group of Jews left Lebanon relatively recently with the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975.

JIMENA was created to preserve and share the personal stories of Jews who were compelled to leave their ancient home countries. Since our inception, we have been documenting the detailed histories and often times painful testimonies of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews. Our archives are continuously growing and we are committed to continue collecting as many stories as we can.

Here you will find a sampling of personal stories from some of JIMENA’s members. If you are interested in sharing your story or delving further into the personal and communal histories of Jews who fled Lebanon and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, we encourage you to contact our office. JIMENA’s Oral History library includes transcripts, unedited video footage, books, and copies of documents. We are also happy to connect you to Lebanese Jews for speaking engagements, research, and interviews.

JIMENA Oral History Videos