Download Archive Links Search Contact Us


The articles in this issue have been divided upinto the following categories







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.

Hannah Porat,



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.

Another reply:

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



If you would like to make any comments or contribute to The Scribe please contact us