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Sephardi and Mizrahi Sources
Yizkor Books


  • Abensur-Hazan, Laurence. Les Pontremoli, deux dynasties rabbiniques en Turquie et en Italie -. préface de Mario Modiano. Paris: L. Abensur-Hazan, 1997. (F)
  • Ben Naim, Yosef. Malkhei Rabanan. Jerusalem, 1931.(H)
    • A comprehensive anthology of Sefardi rabbis in Morocco. Arranged alphabetically by personal name. In 1995 Yad Ben Tsvi (Jerusalem) published an experimental version of indices prepared by Mathilde Tagger of Jerusalem. These are arranged by surname, compositions written by the rabbis, place of residence, date (both secular and Hebrew). This highly recommended source of 127 pages covers the period 1275-1929. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
    • The book has been fully indexed (alphabetically arranged by surnames) in Latin letters with added biographical notes. It includes 1,750 Rabbis. You can find it on the web at: [Comment by Mathilde Tagger]
  • Catton, Sam. Men of Faith and Vision. New York: Sephardic Heritage Foundation, 2001. (E)
    • Available for free by calling Catton Brothers Corp., 112 W 34th St # 1905, New York, NY,
      212-695-6343. [Comment by Sarina Roffe]
  • Chazan, Shelomo. Ha-maalot li-Shelomo. Alexandria, 1894. (Reprinted in Jerusalem, 1968). (H)
  • Cohen, Benyamin Rafael. Malkhei Tarshish. Jerusalem, 1986. (H)
    • A 365 page anthology of Tunisian rabbinical families arranged according to surname. Indices by Mathilde Tagger published by Yad Ben Tsvi library in 1994 arranged by surname, composition, places of residence. Although the book commences from the period after the destruction of the Second Temple, the main part of the book covers the period 1690-1980. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1] See Tagger.
    • Biographical dictionary of Tunisian Rabbis, arranged by periods and families, with supplement at the end of each letter. [Comment by Mathilde Tagger]
  • Frumkin, A. Toldot Khakhmei Yerushalayim. Jerusalem, 1872. (H)
    • History and biographies of scholars and rabbis who settled in Eretz Yisrael, particularly in Jerusalem, from the period of the Spanish Expulsion (1492) until the mid-nineteenth century. The Sephardi and Ashkenazy communities are presented in parallel but separately. Detailed supplementary notes by Eliezer Rivlin assist in the identification of some personalities and add later material. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Galante, Abraham. Histoire des Juifs d'Izmir (History of the Jews of Izmir). Istanbul: M. Babok, 1937-39.
  • Gaon, Moshe David. Yehudei Hamizrakh Be’erets Yisrael (Oriental Jews in the Land of Israel). Jerusalem, 1936. (H)
    • This 750-page work is in two volumes, the second is a history of rabbis and prominent scholars, writers, and communal leaders who worked towards the realization of the concept of Shivat Tzion, the return to Zion and the rebuilding of the land. Essentially a biographical anthology, this extensive work includes rabbis from Turkey, Syria (Haleb), Bulgaria, and the Balkan communities. It is arranged alphabetically by surname. Mathilde Tagger has prepared an index in Latin script which includes reference to the places where the rabbis were active. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
    • A biographical dictionary of all the Sephardi and Mizrahi rabbis, plus some outstanding Jews, who visited, settled, lived, and died in Erets Yisrael. Tagger's Index of Gaon's Book in Latin Letters, includes biographical notes and is found at: [Comment by Mathilde Tagger]
  • Gedolei Salonica. (H)
    • An anthology of rabbis in Tripoli, Egypt and Syria. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Harel, Yaron. Sifrei Aram Tsuba. Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute, 1997. (H)
    • Refers to Aleppo, Syria. Besides the analysis of each title, the book includes a biographical index of the authors. [Comment by Mathilde Tagger]
  • Laniado, David Tsion. La Kedoshim asher bare"ts. Jerusalem, 1935, 1980. (H)
  • Larado, Avraham. Les Noms des Juifs du Maroc sa essai d’Onomastique Judeo-Marocaine. Madrid: Instituto d Arias Montano, 1978. (F)
    • Extensive biographic listing with detailed sources. Terrific for genealogists. [Comment by Jeff Malka]
    • An onomastic analysis of the surnames of the Jews of Morocco which includes much biographical material including rabbinical families in 1,161 pages. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Marciano, Eliahu Rafael. Malkhei Yeshurun. Jerusalem, 2000. (H)
    • Extensive biographical listing of rabbis of Algeria. [Comment by Jeff Malka]
    • Biographical dictionary of Algerian rabbis, arranged by surname. [Comment by Mathilde Tagger]
  • Modiano, Mario. Hamehune Modillano. Limited Non-commercial printing: Athens, 2000. pp.213. (E)
    • The book describes the genealogical structure of the Modiano Family from Salonika (Ottoman Empire until 1912, then Greece) which sprang from a family of rabbis who had immigrated from Italy and (presumably before that) Spain. The book's second edition can be downloaded from [Comment by Mario Modiano]
  • Otsar Yehude Sefarad: le-heker toldot Yehude Sefarad ve-tarbutam. Jerusalem, Israel. v. : ill.; 24 cm. Sefer 1 719 (1958 or 1959)-Ceased in 730 (1969 or 1970). (periodical) (H)
  • Ovadia, David. Fez ve hakhameha. Jerusalem, 1979. (H)
    • Fez, Morocco, and its rabbis, from Yahas Fez. [Comment by Jeff Malka]
  • Rozanis, S. Divrei Yemei Yisrael Betorgama. Tel Aviv, 1930. (H)
    • Details of the origin of families in the Turkish Empire including the Baltic countries. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Serels, Rabbi Dr. Mitchell. A History of the Jews of Tangier in the 19th and 20th Centuries. New York: Sepher-Hermon Press, Inc., 1991. (E)
    • Has (not-inclusive) references and biographies of the following. [Comment by Sarina Roffe]
      Rabbi Judah Benchimonl
      Rabbi Salomon Benchimonl
      Chief Rabbi Judah Benchimonl
      Rabbi Yahya Auday
      Rabbi Abraham Bensusan
      Rabbi Mordecai Bengio
      Rabbi Isaac Bengualid
      Rabbi Shlomo Isaaci
      Rabbi Jacob Levy
      Rabbi Mordecai Laredo
      Chief Rabbi Saadia Rebboh
      Chief Rabbi Abraham Toledano
      Chief Rabbi Moses Toledano
      Rabbi Joseph Toledano
      Rabbi Aaron Toledano
      Rabbi Isaac Toledano
      Rabbi Jacob Toledano
      Rabbi Joshua Toledano
      Rabbi Pincus Toledano
      Rabbi Samuel Toledano
  • Tagger, Mathilde. Maftehot lasefer Malkei Tarshish leRab. Benyamin Rafael Cohen (Index to Malkhei Tarshish). Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute, 1994. (H)
    • Includes surname alphabetical index, alphabetic list of book titles written by the rabbis, and alphabetical list of places. [Comment by Mathilde Tagger] See Cohen.
  • Tagger, Mathilde. Chronological list of Chief-Rabbis of Bulgaria.
  • Tagger, Mathilde. Chronological list of Manisa Chief-Rabbis, in "Sephardic Community of Manisa."
  • Tanugi, Y. Toldot Khakhmei Tunis. Bnei Brak, 1988. (H)
  • Toledano, Joseph. Une Histoire de Familles: Les Noms de Famille Juifs d’Afrique du Nord des Origines a Nos Jours. Jerusalem: Ramtol, 1999. (F)
    • An anthology of families from North Africa and Egypt. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]

See also:

4Information on rabbinical genealogy published on the Internet may be found separately in the extensive Links section of the Rav-SIG web site. See: Links Index.


Biographical information on rabbis may be contained in Yizkor books. A listing of all published Yizkor books is too lengthy to reproduce here. For more information, see the following:

Pinkas Hakehillot. Multi-volume project published progressively by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel. (H) [See JewishGen Yizkor Book Translation Project]

  • Whilst particular stress is given to the Holocaust period, the historical background and development of the communities is summarized. For many towns, this material constitutes the only extant source due to the dearth of information about a particular town. Volumes published to date include Poland, Germany, Rumania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Holland, Greece, and Libya. Some of these countries encompass several volumes. Although Pinkas Hakehillot does not present rabbinical genealogies in a formal genealogical structure, this important work of Yad Vashem has considerable value for rabbinical genealogical research. Each town entry includes a list of the rabbis who occupied the rabbinical seat over the period of Jewish settlement in the town. If there was an element of familial succession to this post, then the familial detail supplied, even if incomplete, is one of the sources for research. Where Chassidic dynasties held court in a town then the familial succession to the title of "Admor" or "Rebbe" is given considerable coverage. Individual scholars appear even if they held no official position. So the genealogist should refer to Pinkas Hakehillot, realizing that the information, while valuable is incomplete. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]


1. All comments by Chaim Freedman are used with permission from his book, Beit Rabbanan: Sources of Rabbinic Genealogy. Petah Tikva, Israel: self-published, 2001. Mathilde Tagger (Jerusalem, Israel) provided the author with a selection of principal Sephardi sources.

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