Jacob ben Ẓemaḥ ben Nissim

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JACOB BEN ẒEMAḤ BEN NISSIM

JACOB BEN ẒEMAḤ BEN NISSIM (d. 1847), one of the wealthiest men of his time in the East. Born in Baghdad, he moved in about 1775 to India where he succeeded in amassing great wealth. Returning to Baghdad in 1831, he spent large sums on charitable purposes in various countries. Many of the Jewish religious institutions established in Baghdad in the first half of the 19th century were financed by his contributions. After his death his heirs struggled bitterly among themselves over the distribution of his estate. In 1855 a synagogue, Midrash Ya'akov Ẓemaḥ, was constructed in his memory in Baghdad.

bibliography:

A. Ben-Jacob, Yehudei Bavel (1965), 140–1; D.S. Sassoon, History of the Jews in Baghdad (1949), 137.

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