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Clothes of Rabbi Sasson Kadoorie, the Last Chief Rabbi of Iraqi Jewry

These garments belonged to Chief Rabbi Sasson Kadoorie (1880-1971), who held his post from the 1920s until his death. With its multiple robes, this outfit was typical of the attire worn by Iraqi rabbis from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. The first, striped robe is cut in traditional ottoman fashion, the middle one is machine-made, and the upper one was worn by eminent individuals throughout the Middle East. The most distinctive feature of this outfit is the headdress - a fixed turban made of a soft fringed fez surrounded by an embroidered cashmere shawl.

Silk and cotton satin from Damascus

Upper robe
Machine-made wool

Uppermost robe
Camel hair with couched silk cords

Fez: felted wool, silk tassel
Turban: wool, cashmere weave, wool embroidery

Gift of Rabbi Kadoorie’s children: Shaoul Sassoon, London, Victoria Nissim and Marcelle Semah, Givatayim, Dr. Meir Sassoon, Tel-Aviv, Salman Sassoon, California
Accession number: B82.0346, B82.0345, B83.0205, B82.0342

From the Israel Museum publications:
Juhasz, Esther (ed.), The Jewish Wardrobe from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 5 Continents Editions, Milan and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2012

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir

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