In reference to my study of the family origins I have
since examined the Ketubah of my mother in-law's parents
and seen that their surname was "Ezra", and
not Bahar as I had originally thought. I have attached
the image of this ketubah on which I can't make out
the date so far. I maybe able to ascertain it by speaking
to their now 93 year daughter Telma in Ottowa, Canada.
The basic questions are: when did either Yehezkiel
Ezra, his wife Gazella or their parents actually come
from Baghdad to Kalkutta? Who were Yehezkel Ezra's
parents? Are their graves in Kalkutta or in Baghdad?
He (Yehezkel) worked as a shochet in the suk of Kalkutta
and his wife worked as a caterer. I am writing up
the information concerning their children and hope
to share the family tree with you once it is more
complete. Another question is: how many generations
does the family go back in Baghdad? Did they come
there from another country?
I have passed around the issue of the "Scribe"
you most kindly sent me as a gift to the various relatives
here in Israel and all are enjoying it tremendously
including my father-in-law who worked as a shaliach
in India in the early forties and was instrumental
in bringing Jews to Israel, among them Iraqi Jews.
Lastly, since I am interested in the story about
Charlemagne and the mission to Baghdad which resulted
in Jewish teachers being sent to Germany, I simply
can't find my copy of the magazine I found it in ("Renaissance")
nor can I find any reference to it on your Internet
site. If you could direct me to a reference including
one in a historical source, that would be wonderful.
Further to your email dated 13 June 2002, with regard
to the family name "Ezra", I have been in
touch with a lady named Helene Sopher who comes originally
from Calcutta and she wrote the following:
"I have spoken to a few people and all I can
establish is that there was a Bahar family in Calcutta.
They owned a shop called "Olympia" and the
family came to London, and they are all in Israel.
No one is in contact here with them so there is no
address I can give you. If I can get any more information
I will let you know."
I also spoke to Esmond Ezra, who wrote about the
Jews of Calcutta, but he could not give me any information.
My adopted mom, "Mrs. Anne Othoneos' was in
charge of the Jewish Girl's Hostel! She worked there
until 1962 when she then retired to join me in London,
England. Total years at JGH was 28 years. She was
born Hannah Judah in Singapore and went to India at
the age of 8, with her father and twin sister Rachael.
She collected money from her rich friends to take
the girls to Madhupur in the winter and Gopalpur in
the summer. Gopalpur was in the Bay of Bengal near
Puri. Madhupur was in Bihar State north of Calcutta
- an overnight journey.
She passed away in London, England in December 1979.
She devoted her life to help others but gets little
recognition for all her good deeds.
She served in the British Army during World War II
as a volunteer - translating French and Greek letters,
which she was very fluent in. She then worked for
the St. Johns Ambulance Brigade, for which she received
a letter of commendation from the Queen Mother.
I have lived in California for 25 years. In case
you need further information about the Jews in Calcutta,
I would be happy to fill you in.
Angela Abraham (née Ekaireb) California
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