Iranian Jewish Culure
Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi
Presidents of the Tehran Jewish Association

Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi


Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi was born in 1942 C.E., 1320 of the Persian calendar, to a religious Jewish family of Sanandaj in the far-western Iran. The little Manouchehr stepped upon the tumultuous stage of the world at the peak of WWII, and as Reza Shah the Great was exiled from his country.

Manouchehr Eliassi’s maternal ancestor, Agha Rahim Ashouri, was a known philanthropist and the Chair of the Sanandaj Jewish Association.

Manouchehr Eliassi studied at Ettehad “Alliance” Elementary and Junior High, and at Shahpour High School. In 1959 C.E., he passed the national university entrance exam known as the Concours with flying colors, and he was accepted to the School of Medicine, Tehran University. In 1966, he received his doctorate in General Medicine, at which time he was drafted to serve the military as a physician of the Health Corps. Having fulfilled the draft, he returned to school to pursue his professional studies at the Shahid Beheshti “Melli” University, School of Medicine, whence he graduated in 1973, specializing in Gastroenterology.

Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi began his social activities in 1959 C.E. when he joined Sazeman-e Danesh-jouyan or “The Iranian Jewish Academic Students Organization”, an institution he vastly served, alongside his fellow Jewish students, up until the end of his studies. At the university, he also joined the Second Jebhe-ye Melli “National Front”, and like the other dissenting students, he proved himself to be a dedicated student activist. In 1979, as a result of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, most social and political activities transformed and assumed new dimensions. The onset of the people’s movement and the many sprawling revolutionary streams left their share of impact on the Jewish community. The situation moved Dr. Eliassi and several fellow members of the community to found a new organization, namely, Jame’e-ye Roshanfekran-e Yahoud or “The Jewish Intellectual Society.”

As a founding member of the Intellectual Society, and over the course of fourteen years of active service at that institution, Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi played a much productive role alongside the other members of the Society.

In 1983 C.E., following the elections for the Tehran Jewish Association, the Board of the Directors chose Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi as the Chair of the Association. He was thus entrusted with a crucial responsibility, particularly in those revolutionary times and during the several years of an imposed war.

Additionally, in 1980 C.E., among his many social endeavors, Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi joined the Board of Directors of Dr. Rouhollah Sapir Hospital, where for 20 fruitful years, he would carry out countless remarkable efforts.

In 1996 C.E., he won the majority vote of his constituency to join the Fifth Islamic Parliament as the Representative of the Jewish Community of Iran. As he took his seat, he was elected to the Health Commission of the Parliament, and for years he served as the Secretary of the Commission.

Among his many endeavors at the Parliament, Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi participated in the United Nations World Health Organization Summit in Switzerland, 1998 C.E. Also joined by the other religious minority MPs, he proposed a bill pertaining to the matter of dieh, i.e. the monetary retribution for the death or bodily loss inflicted upon another human being, where it concerned the religious minorities. He further took part in many other domestic and international conferences. Dr. Eliassi’s four-year term also coincided with the arrest of 13 innocent Jews in Shiraz on accusations of espionage. Thanks to his persistence and insightful efforts, and with help from members of the Board of Directors of the Tehran Jewish Association, he played a remarkable and eventually successful role to have all of the prisoners acquitted or pardoned and freed from incarceration.

In 1973 C.E., Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi married Floura Tavakoli. The couple brought a son and two daughters to the world.

Today, with more than 40 years of medical practice behind him, Dr. Manouchehr Eliassi is enjoying his years of retirement. Nevertheless, he continues to work as a gastroenterologist at the Dr. Sapir Hospital, Tehran.


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