This site offers a history of the Jewish community in Baghdad, remarking about the period when Bell was there,
- With British entry to Baghdad on February 3, 1917 (fixed as yom nes 17th Adar) there began a period of freedom for the Jews of Baghdad and many of them were employed in the civil service. When the state became independent in 1929 there was an increase in anti-Semitism, especially after the appearance of the German ambassador A. Grobbe in Baghdad (1932).
- Until operation "Ezra and Nehemiah" there were 28 Jewish educational institutions in Baghdad, 16 under the supervision of the community committee and the rest privately run. The number of pupils reached 12,000 and many others learned in foreign and government schools. About 400 students studied medicine, law, economics, pharmacy, and engineering. In 1951 the Jewish school for the blind was closed; it was the only school of its type in Baghdad. The Jews of Baghdad had two hospitals in which the poor received free treatment, and several philanthropic services. Out of 60 synagogues in 1950, there remained only 7 in 1960.
- During these centuries under Muslim rule, the Jewish Community had it's ups and downs. By World War I, they accounted for one third of Baghdad's population.
- She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
She opens her mouth with wisdom; and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
- Baghdad was once one of the great cradles of Jewish culture and wisdom, but now, according to the Christian priest who has been looking after them, there are only eight Jews left in the Iraqi capital, and their situation is "more than desperate.