This article offers a new account of a late imperial elite Jewish politics, examining the lives of Rachel Ezra (1877–1952) and David Ezra (1871–1947), a Baghdadi Jewish couple from British India, through the lens of two sites of political formation: first, a memorial campaign led by David Ezra to have his Baghdadi community classified as European in the Bengali electorate; and second, the quotidian practices and affective ties that shaped the Ezras' embeddedness in elite Indian and Jewish cultures. These two sites each generated distinctive political vocabularies, categories, and concerns. However, both were informed by a single political horizon: a growing uncertainty about Jewish futures in India amidst the rise of Indian nationalism and the changing terms of British rule. Examining Jewish politics in the British Empire sheds critical light on the history of Zionism, Jewish politics, and the Jewish experience at the crossroads of imperialism and nationalism.


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pp. 48-85
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