Bouchara

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BOUCHARA

BOUCHARA , Algerian family, prominent in the Jewish community life of Algiers from the 17th century. abraham (early 18th century) was *muqaddim (leader) of the community and adviser to the deys; his brother isaac, well-known about 1726, was a shipowner and financier in Leghorn, Genoa, and Algiers. Abraham's son jacob raphael (d. 1768) succeeded his father as muqaddim. Raphael, who was very wealthy and an associate of the dey, represented Ragusa (*Dubrovnik) as consul (1735). He was one of the principal shipowners of his time, and his commercial activities extended from Alexandria to Venice and from Leghorn to Hamburg. He supported yeshivot and printed Hebrew works at his own expense. His son joseph was employed by Christian governments to ransom Christian prisoners. Jacob Raphael's other son, abraham (d. 1801), succeeded him as consul and muqaddim, but in 1800 Naphtali *Busnach replaced him in the latter position. Abraham had disputes with the community, which were eventually settled in his favor by the scholars Jacob *Benaim and Ḥ.J.D. *Azulai. At the beginning of his career, Abraham represented the U.S. in its negotiations with the dey. Although involved in commercial affairs, he pursued talmudic and kabbalistic studies. He wrote three works: Beit Avraham and Likkutei Tanakh, both unpublished, and Berit Avraham (Leghorn, 1791), a collection of homilies.

bibliography:

J. Ayash, Beit Yehudah (1746), preface; A. Devoulx (J.M. Haddey), Le Livre d'or des Israélites Algériens (1871), 52–56, 62–64; E. Plantet, Correspondence des Deys d'Alger, 2 (1893), 237–8; I. Bloch, Inscriptions tumulaires … d'Alger (1888), 62–64, 91–93; Hirschberg, Afrikah, 2 (1965), 62–63, 66.

[David Corcos]