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ESRA, ELIA:

Philanthropist; born at Calcutta Feb. 20, 1830; son of David Joseph Esra; died March, 1886. He was one of the wealthiest merchants of India, and was generally known as "the Indian Rothschild." It is said that he distributed 10,000 francs among the poor every month. Esra built a large synagogue at Calcutta, which he called, after his father, "Magen Dawid." In his will he directed that a large Talmudic school should be built at Jerusalem at the expense of his estate.

Bibliography:
  • Ha-Asif, iii. 118.
J. M. K.
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