The Jews of Iraq
Nowadays, there are literally just a handful of Jewish people living in Iraq, too old or poor to contemplate departure. Iraq used to be one of the centers of Judaism, with Jews living side by side with their Iraqi neighbors. Jews in Iraq after the Babylonian Exile created rabbinical academies and compiled the Babylonian Talmud, now a very important guide for Jewish religious life.
The Jews of Yemen
There are around 400 Jews left in small villages in Yemen. They keep to themselves, worshipping and living as Jews. Once a thriving community, most Jewish people immigrated to Israel in about 1950. Those who stayed behind soon faced hardships. Yemeni Jews speak Aramaic for religious services (instead of Hebrew) and have kept their rich heritage. In Israel, the Yemeni Jewish community has added greatly to society.
The Jews of Iran
The Jewish community of present-day Iran (formerly Persia) is one of the oldest in the world, reaching back to the Babylonian Exile. Muslim rule beginning in the seventh century spelled second-class citizenship for Iranian Jews. Today, Iran’s Jewish population is about 8,000 – the second largest in the Mideast. This comes as a surprise to many, given the open enmity that exists between Iran and the State of Israel.
The Jews of Syria
Jewish people had already lived in Syria for over 500 years when the Apostle Paul made his life-changing journey along the Road to Damascus. Before 1948, the Jewish community numbered about 40,000. Today, that number has dwindled to fewer than 100. The establishment of the Jewish State resulted in rioting, murder and the destruction of Jewish synagogues, some as old as 2,500 years. Thereafter, the Jewish community was subjected to harsh restrictions.
Source consulted – Jewish Virtual Library –