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The Jeff Malka Sephardic Collection

16th Century Salonica Synagogues
and the Families who Used to Pray There

When Jews expelled from Spain reached Saloniki, they founded synagogues according to the region or the locality they came from. At the beginning there were seven synagogues: Aragon, Gerush Sefarad, Calabria, Mayor, Sicilia, Calalunia and Castilla. With time, more synagogues were founded as new immigrants arrived or when the old ones splitted.

It was only after the 1917 big fire which destroyed the whole Jewish section of Saloniki, that these reminders of the past disappeared.

The index provides 408 surnames and the 29 synagogues Salonician Jews used to pray in.

In several instances one will also find the occupation most of the family members had held for generations.


Source: Synagogues de Salonique, from the book: Elie Carasso (editor). Les Juifs de Salonique 1492-1943. Tarasco, 2000.

We acknowledge the tremendous contributions and lifelong dedication of Mathilde Tagger, z"l who made this index available. For many years, and right until her untimely death, Mathilde Tagger was a very close friend and collaborator with Jeff Malka. Together they worked to promote Sephardic genealogy research and educate the public about its enormous potential. Mathilde compiled this information based upon the original source material: Klarsfeld, Serge. Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France. Paris, 1978.

In addition, we express our grateful appreciation to Dr. Jeff Malka for his monumental ongoing effort to collect and make accessible Sephardic genealogical information, and for his generosity in contributing his extraordinarily valuable collection to JewishGen.

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