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RYVEL (pseudonym of Raphael Lévy; 1898–1972), Tunisian author and educator. He was born in *Tunis and received pedagogical training at the Ecole Normale Israélite Orientale (ENIO), the teachers' school of the *Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU). After completing his training, Ryvel returned to *Tunisia where he taught at the AIU primary school in Sousse. He was later recruited to teach at the AIU boys' schools in *Casablanca and Tunis. In the latter city, he served as the school's principal. Ryvel belonged to a small nucleus of AIU teachers that often opposed that organization's hostility or indifference to Zionism. He was instrumental in promoting aspects of modern Hebrew studies at the Tunis school. During this time he published more than a dozen books of stories, poems, and plays on Tunisian daily Jewish life, many of which were performed. His most representative works are La hara conte (1920), a compilation of essays dealing with life in the Jewish ghetto, Terre d'Israël (1927), and L'enfant de l'Oukala, also on Jewish quarter folklore, for which he received the important Prix de Carthage in 1931.


A. Elmaleh in: Mahberet, 14:5–7 (1965); A. Alcalay, "Intellectual Life," in: R.S. Simon, M.M. Laskier, S. Reguer (eds.), The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times (2003), 107; H. Saadoun, "Tunisia," in: ibid., 450.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.