The Farhud

The Establishment of International Farhud Day
The Initial Commemoration

The observance began with welcome remarks by Alyza Lewin of the AAJLJ. Ambassador David Roet, then Deputy Permanent Representative of the Israel Mission to the UN, made introductory remarks, and the event was moderated by Rabbi Elie Abadie, co-president of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, founding rabbi of the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue, and now senior rabbi in residence for the UAE. Malcolm Hoenlein, then executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations introduced Edwin Black’s keynote, “The Farhud and the Creation of 850,000 Post-War Refugees From Arab Lands,” based on his award-winning bestseller The Farhud: Roots of The Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust.

A number of leaders and organizations expressed their solidarity, including HARIF, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Zionist Federation UK, and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).

The event received international media coverage in outlets such as the Jerusalem Post and haGalil, and many carried Edwin Black’s account of the day, including History Network News, the Algemeiner, the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, San Diego Jewish World, the San Francisco Jewiish Weekly, the Long Island Jewish World, The Jewish Voice, the Florida Jewish Journal, Frontpage, Yated Ne'eman, and the Winston-Salem Journal.

The USHMM has more background on the pogrom.


The 75th Anniversary of the Farhud was observed May 31–June 5, 2016 in Washington, DC, New York City, London, and Jerusalem with the lighting of 27 candles—one for every century of Jewish existence in Iraq snuffed out and 8½ long shofar blasts for the 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries, followed by songs of lamentation and the singing in solidarity of “Jerusalem of Gold.”

The observations began on May 31 with a 9 am event the US House Cannon Office Building in Washington DC and a 4 pm event at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in New York City.

The London observance was held at the Lauderdale Road Synagogue on June 2, 2016 at 7:00pm. The Jerusalem commemoration took place at the Knesset on June 6, 2016 at 2:00pm.

Articles about the Farhud appeared in the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel.

In Memoriam: Shmuel Moreh, guardian of Iraq’s Jewish memory, 1932–2017.


International Fahrhud Day was observed on June 1, 2017


The Knesset recognized International Farhud Day for the first time, and the World Jewish Congress published an article explaining more of the history.

Edwin Black dedicated the May 27 episode of The Edwin Black Show to an observance of International Farhud Day.


International Fahrhud Day was observed with a worldwide virtual candle-lighting ceremony organized by David Dangoor (more from JNS). The candle-lighting site remains. An article in the CT Jewish Ledger draws comparisons between the events of 1941 and antisemitic violence today and encourages remembrance and solidarity.


I24 News released a special report, “Remembering the Farhud pogrom that ended Iraqi Jewish life, 81 years later.”

Tabby Refael, on discovering that very few people were aware of the Farhud—even those with an Iraqi Jewish parent or grandparent—felt called to write about it.