Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution touched off the Arab Spring in 2011 and its unified national identity, comparatively high education levels, and apolitical military have caused many to view it as the region’s best prospect for a genuinely inclusive government.
Tunisia’s relatively small Jewish population is divided between French-speaking communities in the North (Tunis, Sousse, and Sfax) that have been declining in number, and the more vibrant and strictly observant Arabic-speaking communities in Djerba and Zarzis. These communities are the vital, present-day heirs of the South’s ancient Jewish settlements, and some of their members have also been moving to Tunis, the country’s capital.
Today in Tunisia, JDC is:
- Saving Tunisia’s poorest Jews by ensuring that elderly Jews who live alone or in the Jewish old age home are well looked after and, through the community’s social service program, receive the welfare assistance and medical and home care they need to live out their lives in dignity.
- Revitalizing Jewish life by working closely with local leaders and helping to support and enhance Jewish education, both in Tunis and the South. JDC continues to upgrade the country’s Jewish schools and yeshivas and to provide teacher training and materials. The particularly extensive Jewish education program in the South includes a variety of full-time and part-time facilities for boys and girls at all ages.
See how JDC is supporting dynamic young teachers like Geula to ensure the continuity of Jewish education—and community—in Tunisia.
For an in-depth look at JDC’s work in Tunisia check out our country profile PDF.
DID YOU KNOW?
JDC helped the Jewish communities in Djerba and Zarzis provide humanitarian aid to refugees—both foreign workers and Libyan citizens—who fled across the border in great numbers in 2011 to escape the upheaval in Libya.