TEL AVIV — Naim Reuven was only 8 when he left Baghdad more than 60 years ago, but he still remembers going with his father to catch fish in the Tigris River.
His dad worked in a laundromat, a middle-class father of six and one of Iraq’s more than 100,000 Jews. Baghdad’s Jewish community suffered a pogrom in 1941, but Reuven, born a year later, has only fond memories of his childhood there — until Israel declared independence in 1948.
“When Israel was established it began, there was hate,” said Reuven, now 70. “We had a neighbor we got along with, and then there was hate.”
He still remembers the fear when grenades were thrown into his family’s synagogue.