SULEIMANIYA (al-), Kurd province in N.E. *Iraq in which there were about ten Jewish communities and village settlements. The most important communities were in Suleimaniya, Ghūlambar, Zardiāwa, Halabja, Halībrūy, Mazūrān, Mīrwa, Sūrdash, Fishdal, and Franjawīn. In 1827 the traveler David d'Beth Hillel found about 100 Jewish families in the provincial town of Suleimaniya. They owned a beautiful synagogue, most of them were merchants, others were craftsmen, and the community was led by a nasi who was the banker (*ṣarrāf bāshī) of the pasha. During the 1890s there were 180 Jewish families in the town and the number of Jews who spoke Jebel (mountain) Aramaic increased at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1906 the number of Jews was about 1,500. According to official statistics of 1930, however, there were 47,510 inhabitants in the whole of the al-Suleimaniya region, of whom 900 were Aramaic-speaking Jews. In 1948 they all immigrated to Israel.
A. Ben-Yaacob, Kehillot Yehudei Kurdistan (1961), 111–6.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.