Hebron massacre survivor Yaakov Castel dies


Yaakov Castel, described as one of the last remaining survivors of the massacre of Jews in Hebron in 1929, died Feb. 16. His age was not available.


Castel was described as a “young child” during the events of August 1929, which led to the deaths of 67 Jews and their expulsion from Hebron at that time. Castel’s father, Rabbi Shlomo Castel, was killed in the Arab uprising. (Click here for a JTA article from 1929 listing the dead. Shlomo Castel is identified as "Rabbi Castili, 60, Sephardic rabbi." A second article describes the manner of his death.) Gershon Agronsky, later Agron, founder of the Jerusalem Post, also wrote about the massacre for JTA.

According to the website Israel National News, Yaakov Castel fought a lengthy legal battle to get his property returned, and he died without that occurring. Castel’s family had been in Hebron for generations until 1929. In an interview he said that he displayed a book of his family history at the Diaspora Museum in part, “to make sure that there will be Jews living in Hebron.”

The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Write to the Eulogizer at eulogizer@jta.org.

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