- Conscription

In 1909, the Ottoman Empire begins to draft Jewish men into the army. At stake were their very lives – as they would be sent to the front lines. And as soldiers, they would not be able to practice their religion, such as keeping kashrut and observing shabbat. A new wave of young Jews leaves Syria & Turkey and other lands to avoid Ottoman conscription law. The Ottoman Empire enters World War I in 1914.

“My father came to America, to escape the First World War. He was going to be drafted into the Turkish army and his family decided to send him to America.” – Isaac J. Cabasso, Episode 1

(Image of Turkish Army soldiers)

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