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Humanist
07-16-2014, 11:42 PM
Excellent point, as my great uncle used to say "perhaps the simplest answer is the laziest answer"

HaHa. :) Well, it is certainly possible that they mixed to some degree.

OT: Regarding what I stated about the Kurdish Jews, and how they appear to be split, with some perhaps displaying recent admixture, please see the below Eurogenes plot. For comparison, note the clustering of East Assyrians and Kurds, and the clustering of what appear to be distinct groups of Kurdish Jews. One more similar to Indo-Iranian speaking Kurds, and one more similar to Semitic-speaking E Mizrahim Jews.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/DNA_Tribes_SNP_Analysis/Kurdish_Jews.png

Humanist
07-16-2014, 11:59 PM
And yes, it's pretty obvious that a fair share of Kurdish Jews mixed with their neighbours.

I take it that that added Indo-Iranian element may be why they identify so closely with today's Kurdistan, and the Indo-Iranian speaking Kurds. Some of them are of the same origin!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzEAsrRulU8

Agamemnon
07-17-2014, 12:04 AM
I take it that that added Indo-Iranian element may be why they identify so closely with today's Kurdistan, and the Indo-Iranian speaking Kurds. Some of them are of the same origin!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzEAsrRulU8

Indeed, we have many of those types... However we also have a few Mizrahim who identify as Assyrians (Ashourim) instead, and most of the Kurdish Jews in Israel speak Assyrian Neo-Aramaic dialects and don't understand a word of Kurdish, even though they keep telling others they're "Kurdish".

I think we might be onto something, perhaps the difference is linguistically-biased? Who knows, this is just a theory.

Humanist
07-17-2014, 12:14 AM
Indeed, we have many of those types... However we also have a few Mizrahim who identify as Assyrians (Ashourim) instead, and most of the Kurdish Jews in Israel speak Assyrian Neo-Aramaic dialects and don't understand a word of Kurdish, even though they keep telling others they're "Kurdish".

I think we might be onto something, perhaps the difference is linguistically-biased? Who knows, this is just a theory.

Honestly, I have never heard of Kurdish Jews identifying as Chaldean or Assyrian. That is interesting.

OT: As an aside, are you familiar with the great Kurdish Jewish singer (or is she Nash Didan?) that sings in Hebrew, Northeast Neo-Aramaic, and Kurdish?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFVpktGivGs

Agamemnon
07-17-2014, 06:17 PM
Honestly, I have never heard of Kurdish Jews identifying as Chaldean or Assyrian. That is interesting.

OT: As an aside, are you familiar with the great Kurdish Jewish singer (or is she Nash Didan?) that sings in Hebrew, Northeast Neo-Aramaic, and Kurdish?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFVpktGivGs

Actually quite a few do, I recall meeting an old man at the wailing wall in Jerusalem (a Levite) who told me he was an Assyrian Jew.

They don't identify as Chaldean or Aramean, only Assyrian.... But of course, that's a minority, most think they're "Kurdish", which is really weird.

Oh yes I'm very familiar with Hadassah Yeshouroun, my dad used to listen to her when I was little. Yes, absolutely, she is part of Nash Didan.

Avner Zaqen is another, less famous, Kurdish Jewish singer.... Sings both in Kurdish & in Aramaic:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysedq6_kF6o&list=FL5fp28HPz10AvXMoG8rBSaQ&index=2

Tomasso29
07-17-2014, 06:33 PM
Honestly, I have never heard of Kurdish Jews identifying as Chaldean or Assyrian. That is interesting.

They never identified themselves as Kurds either until the creation of Israel in order to keep a unique identity among other Jews. In Iraq and Iran they just called themselves Jews, that's it.

Agamemnon
07-17-2014, 06:41 PM
They never identified themselves as Kurds either until the creation of Israel in order to keep a unique identity among other Jews. In Iraq and Iran they just called themselves Jews, that's it.

Very true, pretty much the same thing happened with Moroccan, Algerian, Egyptian and Tunisian Jews etc... When they were chased from arab countries, those who ended up settling in Israel started labeling themselves "Arab Jews".
In the meantime, those who left for France never took up this label, and kept calling themselves "Jews" as they always did in arab countries.

Very artificial labels.

binyamin40
08-31-2014, 01:55 AM
Are Kurdish Jews ethnic Assyrians? My family is from around Dohuk in northern Iraq and Zakho. I was just wondering, since they speak the same language. Did they even refer to themselves as Kurds, or did they just refer to themselves as Jews? Any references to Ashuri (Assyrian)?

ZephyrousMandaru
08-31-2014, 02:03 AM
Are you Assyrian or a Kurdish Jew? As for your question, I think Humanist could provide you with a more satisfactory answer than I. But Kurdish Jews and Assyrians are quite closely related genetically, and do speak Northeastern dialects of Aramaic. But I assume that there are probably dialectical differences between them, but if these linguistic distinctions don't interfere with intelligibility than it's probably likely that they share many cognates in common, which would indicate that both dialects probably evolved from the same parent dialect.

Agamemnon
08-31-2014, 02:04 AM
Zakho had a sizeable Jewish community, and some do identify as Assyrians though most just label themselves Kurdish Jews.

From a genetic POV, Kurdish Jews are a diverse bunch (which isn't normal, as Jewish populations tend to form tight and closely-knit clusters)... Some end up in the Mizrahi (Iraqi and Iranian) Jewish cluster while others cluster with Kurds and/or Armenians.
So while they're pretty close to Assyrians, they do not cluster with them (nor do they overlap for that matter).

AJL
08-31-2014, 03:01 AM
Welcome to Anthrogenica, binyamin40.

If you test your autosomes you should get a solid answer. Assyrians tend to be related measurably to other Assyrians, Jews to other Jews.

Even my grandfather, who is on paper Ashkenazi, has 0.4% overlap with an unidentified person with ancestry from Iraq (with 3 segments of 11.0, 8.0, and 10.8 cM) and 0.3% with another with ancestry from Iran (6.9 and 11.3 cM), which could very well point to Kurdish matches. It is very hard to dismiss that 0.7% in fairly good-sized segments as meaningless especially since the Iran and Iraq don't overlap with each other.

Humanist
08-31-2014, 03:11 AM
Are Kurdish Jews ethnic Assyrians? My family is from around Dohuk in northern Iraq and Zakho. I was just wondering, since they speak the same language. Did they even refer to themselves as Kurds, or did they just refer to themselves as Jews? Any references to Ashuri (Assyrian)?

There is not a great deal of data on Kurdish Jews. There was that study by Nebel et al several years ago on Kurdish Jewish Y-DNA, and more recently some autosomal data has been published.

The Armenian DNA Project admin Peter Hrechdakian (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etBNo0638Pw) refers to Kurdish Jewish* and Assyrian Y-DNA data when lecturing on Armenian DNA. Both Kurdish Jewish and Assyrian Y-DNA haplogroup frequencies are similar to Armenian frequencies. This does not mean that Kurdish Jews and Assyrians are Armenians, but rather that they share an ancient origin in the region of SE Anatolia, N Iraq, and NE Syria. Given that Kurdish Jews speak (or spoke) a language that has existed in that general area (northern Mesopotamia) for ~3,000 years (Aramaic), the similarities should not come as a surprise.

The autosomal data revealed some peculiarities. Kurdish Jews were split between two main groups. One group appeared similar to East Mizrahim Jewish groups, and another appeared most similar to Indo-Iranian speaking Kurds, Armenians, Iranians, etc. This may be a function of this particular sample. There has been only one sampling of Kurdish Jewish autosomal DNA that has been published, so, we really must wait for further data before arriving at any conclusions.

*
http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/DNA_Tribes_SNP_Analysis/Kurdish_Jews_.jpg

Alanson
08-31-2014, 03:56 AM
A lot of Assyrians converted to Judaism during the Kingdom of Adabane I believe. Judaism was not a closed religion before. Many people converted to this religion from Arabians, Assyrians, Berbers, Khazars, ect.

binyamin40
08-31-2014, 11:42 PM
ZephyrousMandaru, I am an Assyrian. As they both speak dialects of NENA, I do think they share a common origin. However, I am disappointed in the dearth of literature on the Jews of Kurdistan. There haven't been much research done, and it does not seem that they identified as "Kurdish," before the 1940s and 1950s. In the very minute examples of Kurdish Jewish literature, there are no references to Kurdish identification. For the most part, Assyrians can clearly understand (save a few dialects) their form of Aramaic. In fact, a very small concentration of them even spoke Kurdish.

I do believe that they share a common origin with Assyrians of northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, northwestern Iran, and southeastern Turkey.

Regarding the kingdom of Adiabene, its royal house's ethnicity has been the subject of some debate -- some say it was Parthian, others say it was Assyrian. I do know that the kingdom's residents spoke Aramaic, but do not know what their previous religion was.

Humanist, are the Iranian Jews also close to Assyrians (the ones from Khoy, Urmia, Salamas, Mahabad etc)?

Have any geneticists associated Iranian or Kurdish Jews with modern-day Assyrians, or no?

Humanist
09-01-2014, 12:17 AM
Humanist, are the Iranian Jews also close to Assyrians (the ones from Khoy, Urmia, Salamas, Mahabad etc)?

Yes, assuming at least some of the Behar et al. Iranian Jews are from NW Iran. Nearly all of the East Mizrahim Jewish groups are genetically similar to Assyrians. In my opinion, the East Mizrahim Jewish groups share a principally Mesopotamian origin. Not necessarily Assyrian. I would look more towards what was Babylon before the Arabo-Muslim expansions of the 7th century CE.


Have any geneticists associated Iranian or Kurdish Jews with modern-day Assyrians, or no?

Not a single geneticist has researched the question! All of our knowledge regarding the relationship between Assyrians and East Mizrahim Jewish groups has been gleaned from analyses generated via the various open-source projects (i.e. Harappa, Eurogenes, Dodecad).


Regarding the kingdom of Adiabene, its royal house's ethnicity has been the subject of some debate -- some say it was Parthian, others say it was Assyrian. I do know that the kingdom's residents spoke Aramaic, but do not know what their previous religion was.

This is a possibility:

Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World
Patricia Crone & Michael Cook


Th[e] unusual division of labour between Christianity and paganism was a result of the differing impact of foreign rule on the two provinces. Assyria, which had neither the fabled wealth nor the strategic importance of Babylon, had been left virtually alone by the Achaemenids and Seleucids; condemned to oblivion by the outside world, it could recollect its own glorious past in a certain tranquillity. Consequently when the region came back into the focus of history under the Parthians, it was with an Assyrian, not a Persian let alone Greek, self-identification: the temple of Ashur was restored, the city was rebuilt, and an Assyrian successor state returned in the shape of the client kingdom of Adiabene. The Sasanids put an end to the autonomy of this kingdom, but they did not replace the local rulers with a Persian bureaucracy: though reduced to obedient servants of the Shahanshah, a native aristocracy therefore survived. Like the provincials of the west, the Assyrians stuck to their genealogy, but unlike them they could not merely go heretical: even a heretical Zoroastrian was still conceptually a Persian, and vis-a-vis the Persians the Assyrians therefore needed a different religion altogether. On the other hand, even an orthodox Christian was still only a Greek by association; vis-a-vis the Greeks a heresy therefore sufficed. Consequently, after a detour via Judaism, the Assyrians adopted Christianity and found their heresy in Nestorianism.

ZephyrousMandaru
09-01-2014, 12:24 AM
I do believe that they share a common origin with Assyrians of northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, northwestern Iran, and southeastern Turkey.

Regarding the kingdom of Adiabene, its royal house's ethnicity has been the subject of some debate -- some say it was Parthian, others say it was Assyrian. I do know that the kingdom's residents spoke Aramaic, but do not know what their previous religion was.

Humanist, are the Iranian Jews also close to Assyrians (the ones from Khoy, Urmia, Salamas, Mahabad etc)?

Have any geneticists associated Iranian or Kurdish Jews with modern-day Assyrians, or no?

Kurdish Jews and Iranian Jews as well as Assyrians probably have similar demographic histories, and the preponderance of experiments conducted by the various genome bloggers and hobbyists have demonstrated that Assyrians are closest to Iraqi Mandaeans, Iraqi Jews, Iranian Jews and Kurdish Jews. In most of the MDS and PCA plots I've seen, these four populations consistently form a macrocluster in contrast to other groups on illustrated on these plots. There was a test conducted by Davidski of the Eurogenes Genetic Ancestry Project with a tool known as Spatial Ancestry Analysis or SPA, it's a type of formal software utilized by geneticists, that accurately pinpoints a person's individual's ancestral ethnogenesis, prior to any migrations their ancestors took.

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/Faces/spa_eurogenes_semitic_speaking-1.jpg

As you can see, Assyrians along with Iraqi Jews and Iraqi Mandaeans are situated in Southeastern Iraq (Historical Babylon). This coincides quite nicely with linguistic data, as the dialect of Aramaic Assyrians speak contains an Akkadian substratum, and this probably applies to Neo-Mandaic and Jewish dialects of Aramaic.

ZephyrousMandaru
09-01-2014, 12:34 AM
I second Humanist's statements, I highly doubt these Jewish groups have Assyrian ancestry, any genetic affinities shared today are most likely a result of a similar origin in Mesopotamia. These ethno-religious communities shun intermarriage with outside groups, and this acts as an artificial barrier to gene flow.

ADW_1981
09-01-2014, 01:53 AM
From an autosomal perspective, don't most northern Middle Eastern groups descend from 3 major groups? South Euro / West Asian / SW Asian
It's more likely that the averages of these components of Assyrians vs Kurds is roughly the same. It doesn't mean they are recently related. i.e.: A Spaniard isn't a Sardinian, nor an Italian or a Greek, even though they all have healthy South Euro components.

AJL
09-01-2014, 01:55 AM
The one thing I've seen on the subject:

http://wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/jews-kurdistan

This is pre-genetic testing, but covers customs and folklore, dress, cuisine, naming, etc.

binyamin40
09-01-2014, 02:33 AM
I'd like to take a look at that book. It looks extremely interesting. Another one is by Mordechai Zaken on the Jews of Kurdistan and Assyrians.

And Humanist and Zephyrous, are you guys familiar at all with Asahel Grant's book calling Assyrians one of the "lost tribes." He mentions various documents and interviews with various Assyrian clergymen saying that they are bnai Israel.

Additionally, have you ever seen this: "An ancient popular tradition states that among the Assyrians of northern Iraq there were many families of Jewish origin and these were forcibly converted to Christianity more than 500 years ago. They still observe special Jewish customs, have not assimilated among the Christians, marry among themselves, and are afraid of revealing their origin in front of the Christians. Another popular tradition states that many of the descendants of the Ten Tribes who were exiled to this region by the kings of Assyria converted to Christianity"

I've personally never heard of this.


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0012_0_11698.html

Alanson
09-01-2014, 04:49 AM
The Jewish, Christian, and Mandean population represent what ancient Mesopotamia looked like and hence are the best proxies for it, especially in pre mongol and Timurid Iraq, but this component seem to have been concentrated in northern Iraq, well central and southern Iraq have become massively settled by Arabian tribes, although there was an Arabian presence there through the Lakhmids. Although many Bedouin tribes migrated north words mostly to avoid conversion to Shiaism, when many Bedouin tribes began to adopt it in the 19th century, mostly out of their own will.

George Chandler
09-03-2014, 10:17 PM
I'd like to take a look at that book. It looks extremely interesting. Another one is by Mordechai Zaken on the Jews of Kurdistan and Assyrians.

And Humanist and Zephyrous, are you guys familiar at all with Asahel Grant's book calling Assyrians one of the "lost tribes." He mentions various documents and interviews with various Assyrian clergymen saying that they are bnai Israel.

Additionally, have you ever seen this: "An ancient popular tradition states that among the Assyrians of northern Iraq there were many families of Jewish origin and these were forcibly converted to Christianity more than 500 years ago. They still observe special Jewish customs, have not assimilated among the Christians, marry among themselves, and are afraid of revealing their origin in front of the Christians. Another popular tradition states that many of the descendants of the Ten Tribes who were exiled to this region by the kings of Assyria converted to Christianity"

I've personally never heard of this.


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0012_0_11698.html

The difficulty comes with sorting out descendants of Jews in historic exile, from those of Hebrew descent, from those people who are of the same family group but pre Abraham (for those who subscribe to biblical genealogy).

George

Humanist
09-03-2014, 11:47 PM
And Humanist and Zephyrous, are you guys familiar at all with Asahel Grant's book calling Assyrians one of the "lost tribes." He mentions various documents and interviews with various Assyrian clergymen saying that they are bnai Israel.

Yes. I am familiar with it. I would not make much of it.

Tomasso29
09-05-2014, 10:08 PM
Genetics aside, the Kurdish Jews to my knowledge never identified themselves as Assyrians, but they never identified themselves as Kurdish either until they went to Israel. Back in those days they just called themselves Jews, that's it. When they went to Israel it was like a melting pot of all different kind of Jews, so they just called themselves after the region they came from (Kurdistan).

Agamemnon
09-06-2014, 12:07 AM
Genetics aside, the Kurdish Jews to my knowledge never identified themselves as Assyrians, but they never identified themselves as Kurdish either until they went to Israel. Back in those days they just called themselves Jews, that's it. When they went to Israel it was like a melting pot of all different kind of Jews, so they just called themselves after the region they came from (Kurdistan).

True, yet some do identify as Assyrians nowadays even though a huge majority prefer labeling themselves Kurdish.

Palisto
11-18-2014, 11:34 PM
Genetics aside, the Kurdish Jews to my knowledge never identified themselves as Assyrians, but they never identified themselves as Kurdish either until they went to Israel. Back in those days they just called themselves Jews, that's it. When they went to Israel it was like a melting pot of all different kind of Jews, so they just called themselves after the region they came from (Kurdistan).

Here are some Jewish voices from Kurdistan speaking in Aramaic and Kurdish.
http://kurdishdna.blogspot.de/2013/10/voices-of-kurdistan.html

Shamash
01-19-2015, 09:20 PM
May I draw your attention to a Kurdish Jewish y-DNA sample (J1) from Saqqez in Iranian Kurdistan: kit 105085, Simani (he tested BigY): he belongs to my subclade J-FGC3723 (YSC234+, YSC80+, L858+, FGC11+) which most likely is Mesopotamian in origin (TMRCA ~ Akkadian or Old Assyrian period):

3489

3490

I attached you also Victar's most recent part of this part of the J1 tree in order to understand the phylogeny. All samples in the image are FGC3723+. Downstream from FGC3723* we have have FGC3708* (two confirmed Kuwaiti kits with deep Iraqi ancestry and my cluster) and below FGC3708 the Yemeni Z18258 and Z18256 outliers of Sabean (or Himyari) origin. The more you move up the tree towards FGC3723* the more the samples center geographically around Mesopotamia!

We have three other J1 Kurdish Jewish samples from Iraqi Kurdistan in the J1 y-DNA project: kits 166401, 130096 and 169271 from Zakho. Their marker resolution is very low (12 and 25 markers) and I am waiting for the FGC3723 result of kit 166401, Zaken.

Shamash
03-15-2015, 10:38 PM
Just a small sidenote: J1-FGC3723 (ChrY:18038642), which happens to be a y-line present in a Kurdish Jewish sample from Saqqez in Iranian Kurdistan (FTDNA kit 105085), has also been detected in two Yemenite Jewish samples (Israel49 and ISR41) in this brandnew study:

A recent bottleneck of Y chromosome diversity coincides with a global change in culture

http://genome.cshlp.org/content/early/2015/03/13/gr.186684.114.abstract

EDIT:
Too bad the authors haven't looked up the SNPs by using ybrowse (FGC3723 has another name in this study: B237)

Tomasso29
03-16-2015, 08:36 PM
Here are some Jewish voices from Kurdistan speaking in Aramaic and Kurdish.
http://kurdishdna.blogspot.de/2013/10/voices-of-kurdistan.html

The ones from Zakho and Amediya are very clear and sound just like any other Eastern Assyrian dialect. I was not able to understand the Rawandiz one and was unsure whether he was speaking Kurdish or not (If not then the dialect was clearly very Kurdish influenced), the one from Turkey sounds Kurdish to me.

Arbogan
03-16-2015, 09:17 PM
Theyre an eastern branch of mizrahim jews. Probably descend from the same group of jews who immigrated eastward. They look like slightly iranically shifted samaritans (argubly the least mixed jewish group alive). Some of them speak the sorani and kurmanji dialects. They are very specific to those regions and other kurdish areas have no jewish populations. I did not know about them until I read about them on the Internet.

raman
07-12-2015, 05:32 AM
Hi binyamin, we Assyrians believe that absolutely the Jews of Iraq are ethnically Assyrian, no different than ourselves. They spoke the same language as we do and the only difference is the religion. There are historical accounts of Assyrians converting to Judaism, I believe related to kingdom of Adiabene. I also believe they called themselves "Nash Deedan", which means "our people" in Assyrian/neo-Syriac. The dialect sounds to me like that of the Assyrians of the Tyari tribe, once one of the five major semi-independent Assyrian tribes of the Hakkari Highlands in SE Turkey. Both of our communities fled from Arab or Muslim persecution and ours continues to flee today.


Are Kurdish Jews ethnic Assyrians? My family is from around Dohuk in northern Iraq and Zakho. I was just wondering, since they speak the same language. Did they even refer to themselves as Kurds, or did they just refer to themselves as Jews? Any references to Ashuri (Assyrian)?

raman
07-12-2015, 05:40 AM
I'm also Assyrian and I agree with Tomasso, the dialects from Iraq are exactly like Assyrian dialects, specifically the Tyari dialect, which is spoken by a large portion of Assyrians or Chaldeans. The recorded non-Iraqi speakers sound like they're speaking Kurdish, not Assyrian/Neo-Syriac at all.

Humanist
07-12-2015, 05:53 AM
Hi binyamin, we Assyrians believe that absolutely the Jews of Iraq are ethnically Assyrian, no different than ourselves.

Regarding Kurdish Jews, some of the genetic data may suggest otherwise:


Regarding what I stated about the Kurdish Jews, and how they appear to be split, with some perhaps displaying recent admixture, please see the below Eurogenes plot. For comparison, note the clustering of East Assyrians and Kurds, and the clustering of what appear to be distinct groups of Kurdish Jews. One more similar to Indo-Iranian speaking Kurds, and one more similar to Semitic-speaking E Mizrahim Jews.



http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g326/dok101/DNA_Tribes_SNP_Analysis/Kurdish_Jews.png