The first recorded mention of the Sephardic Jewish community in Niš is from 1651; the document records Jews being given land of their own. The Hebrew word "Nachala"
appears in old documents; this word derives from "Machlessi", which means "neighborhood" in Turkish.
After 241 years of Turkish rule, Niš was captured from the Turks by the Serbian Army in 1878 during the Ottoman-Serbian War (1876 - 78).
According to Yad Vashem's Pinkas Hakehilot, Niš was a typical, homogeneous Sephardic community of Jews who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula
and later, in the seventeenth century, migrated to Niš from the Balkan regions of the Ottoman Empire.
Here is a list of Jews living in Niš who were recorded in the 1895 census.
The JewishGen Niš Community Page
includes links to pages for other Jewish communities near Niš, such
as Priština, 58 miles southwest of Niš, and Vidin, Bulgaria, which is 67 miles northeast of Niš. The community page also
contains a link to JewishGen's JGFF Town Search page which lists the names of people who have an interest in Niš.
There is a reference to the Jews of Niš on page 196 of the
Pinkas Hakehillot Yugoslavia.
Published by Yad Vashem, this Yizkor book from the Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities: Yugoslavia has been edited by Zvi Loker.
Please contact Leah Haber Gedalia
with your additions, questions, corrections, or comments!
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