AKRA, town in Iraqi Kurdistan, known as Ekron among Jews. There was an ancient Jewish community in Akra. In the 19th century between 300 and 500 Jews seem to have been living there. According to the official census of 1930, about 1,000 persons of a total population of approximately 19,000 were Jews. They spoke Aramaic-Jebelic and were engaged in agriculture, whitewashing, goldsmithery, the perfume trade, and in commerce generally. Many of the orchards of the district belonged to Jews. The community was centered around its synagogue. In 1950 the Jews were attacked by their Kurdish
neighbors and many of them were injured; after this incident they immigrated to Israel.
A. Ben-Jacob, Kehillot Yehudei Kurdistan (1961), 81–84; A. Brawer, Avak Derakhim, 1 (1944), 269.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.