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Albert Jean Amateau (April 20, 1889 – February 9, 1996) was a Turkish rabbi, businessman, lawyer and social activist.

Albert Jean Amateau
Born(1889-04-20)April 20, 1889
DiedFebruary 9, 1996(1996-02-09) (aged 106)
NationalityTurkish
OccupationRabbi, Lawyer
Known forActivism

Early yearsEdit

Born a Sephardic Jew in Milas, Turkey, Amateau attended the American International College in İzmir (Smyrna), Turkey.[1] He emigrated to the United States in 1910 to escape conscription after the "Young Turks" revolution of 1908.[2]

ActivismEdit

In the early 1920s, Amateau began a movement to bring more Jews into the workplace and government. He was also involved largely in the affairs of deaf people. After he returned from serving in the army in World War I, Amateau was ordained in 1920 at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and he became the first rabbi of a congregation of the deaf. In 1941, Amateau developed the Albert J. Amateau Foreign Language Service, a business providing translators for lipsync dubbing for motion pictures which continued in operation until 1989.[2]

An ardent supporter of his homeland of Turkey, Amateau began various Turkish-oriented organizations while residing in the United States. In 1992, at the age of 103, he helped found the American Society of Jewish Friends of Turkey and was named as its president.[2]

 
Panorama of Milas plain, Turkey, birthplace of Albert Jean Amateau.

Amateau was also an advocate of peace, and in 1937, he assisted with negotiations between Jews and Arabs of Palestine.

He made a Sworn Statement denying the Armenian genocide in Turkey (1915-1923) to oppose approval of a resolution to recognize the said genocide, introduced by Senator Robert Dole in the United States Senate.[1]

Amateau died in 1996 at the age of 106 years, 9 months, 20 days.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Sworn Statement of Albert J. Amateau on the allegations that Armenians suffered "genocide" by the government of the Ottoman Empire". Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture. October 11, 1989. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Albert J. Amateau Collection". The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. 2001. Retrieved 2012-02-18.