Shalom: The First and Only Hebrew Publication in Iran
A hundred years ago –on March 22nd, 1915 (the first day of Farvardin 1294), the first and only Hebrew weekly magazine began publishing in Iran. “Shalom” was the name of this weekly published in a newspaper format. The last issue of Shalom came out on June 26 of the same year (6th day of Nisan 5675).
Shalom’s Publisher was Murdkhai Ben Abraham, and his brother Usher Ben Abraham was the Editor. The Abraham brothers had a small shop in Tehran’s Lalehzar business area. They both studied at the Alliance French school in Tehran.
Shalom audience was the fifty thousand Iranian Jewish community. The paper promoted the teachings of Judaism and Hebrew language. The editorial of the first issue explained the objective of the paper as “informing the Israelites of different Persian cities, their status, and developments.”
Amnon Natsar writes that three years before the official establishment of the Zionist organization, this Persian-Jewish publication was offering and promoting ideas of Zionism to its readers. (Natsar, Amnon. “Shalom, the First FarsYehud Publication, Vol. 1, California, Mazda Publications, 1996, Page 300”).
Shalom content was exclusively dedicated to domestic and international news and reports on the Jewish communities. Shalom also published excerpts of letters from readers, including those in opposition to its content. Shalom’s front page banner had the publication’s name and date in both Farsi and Hebrew, but the rest of the content was all in Hebrew. Shalom had a 2 column, 22×35 centimeter, 4-page layout. Yearly subscription was 15 Quran, single issue: 5 Shahi and advertising rate was one Quiran for each line.
On the first issue, Shalom promised a dedicated page in Persian, but it never delivered.
- This article is translated from Bukhara Quarterly, Spring 2016 Edition