Skip to main content

De Menasce Family

DE MENASCE FAMILY

Sephardic family who arrived in Egypt during the eighteenth century, via Palestine and Morocco.

The leading member of the family in the nineteenth century was Jacob De Menasce (18071887), who began his career in Cairo as a money changer (sarraf) and banker and gradually emerged as the private banker of the Khedive Ismaʿil. He was one of the earliest entrepreneurs in Egypt to recognize the opportunities offered by European trade and, with Jacob Cattaoui, opened the banking and trading establishment of J. L. Menasce et Fils with branches in England, France, and Turkey. In 1872 and 1873, De Menasce was granted Austro-Hungarian protection and subsequently was given the title of baron by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, along with Hungarian citizenship. In 1871, he moved to Alexandria, the new and permanent seat of the family. His son, Béhor Levi, continued in the family's financial enterprises, but his grandson, Baron Jacques Béhor De Menasce (18501916), deserted the banking profession in favor of the cotton and sugar businesses. In 1890, Jacques served as the president of Alexandria's Jewish community and remained in that capacity for about twenty-five years. His younger brother Félix Béhor (18651943) became concerned with Zionism and was a personal friend of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, then president of the World Zionist Organization. In September 1921, Félix represented the Egyptian Zionist organization in Carlsbad at the twelfth World Zionist Congress; in later years he served as Alexandria's Jewish community president. The De Menasce family was not merely wealthy. It was European-educated and Western-oriented and led the Alexandria community from the early 1870s into the 1930s.

See also Weizmann, Chaim; World Zionist Organization (WZO).


Bibliography

Krämer, Gudrun. The Jews in Modern Egypt: 19141952. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1989.

Landau, Jacob M. Jews in Nineteenth-Century Egypt. New York: New York University Press, 1969.

Mizrahi, Maurice. "The Role of Jews in Economic Development." In The Jews of Egypt: A Mediterranean Society in Modern Times, edited by Shimon Shamir. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987.

michael m. laskier

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"De Menasce Family." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"De Menasce Family." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/de-menasce-family

"De Menasce Family." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved August 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/de-menasce-family

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.