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Chief Rabbis of Turkey
Under Ottoman Rule and the Turkish Republic (1454-2007)

When the Jews expelled from Spain accepted the generous offer of Bayazid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and chose to settle in Turkey, the existing local Jewish community was already well organized and had a Chief Rabbi (Hakham Bashi in Turkish), the well know Rabbi Moshe Capsali in function from 1454 to 1497. After his successor Elia Mizrahi who was in the position during the years 1497-1526, most of the subsequent Turkey Chief Rabbis were descendents of the newcomers, the Sephardim.



Chief Rabbis of Turkey 

Under the Ottoman Rule and the Republic (1454-2007)  

Compiled by Mathilde A. Tagger

Surname

Given Name

Function Period

Title

Capsali Moshe 1454 - 1497 Hakham Bashi
Mizrahi Elia 1497 - 1526 Hakham Bashi
Comitano Mordekhai 1526 - 1542 Hakham Bashi
  Tam ben Yahia 1542 - 1543 Hakham Bashi
Rosanes haLevi Eli 1543 Hakham Bashi
  Eli ben Haim 1543 - 1602 Hakham Bashi
Bashan Yehiel  1602 - 1625 Hakham Bashi
Mitrani Yosef 1625 - 1639 Hakham Bashi
Benyaes Yom-Tov 1639 - 1642 Hakham Bashi
Benyakar Yom-Tov Hanania 1642 - 1677 Hakham Bashi
Kamhi Haim 1677 - 1715 Hakham Bashi
Benrey Yehuda 1715 - 1717 Hakham Bashi
Levi Shemuel 1717 - 1720 Hakham Bashi
Rosanes Abraham 1720 - 1745 Hakham Bashi
Alfandari Shelomo Haim  1745 - 1762 Hakham Bashi
Yitshaki Meir 1762 - 1780 Hakham Bashi
Palombo Eli 1780 - 1800 Hakham Bashi
Benyakar Haim Yaakob 1800 - 1835 Hakham Bashi
Levi  Abraham (Pasha) 1835 - 1839 Hakham Bashi
Haim Shemuel 1839 - 1841 Hakham Bashi
Fresko Moshe 1841 - 1854 Hakham Bashi
Avigdor Yaakob 1854 - 1870 Hakham Bashi
Geron Yakir 1870 - 1872 Hakham Bashi
Levi Moshe 1872 - 1909 Hakham Bashi
Nahum  Haim (Effendi) 1909 - 1920 Hakham Bashi
Levi Shabetay 1920 - 1922 Hakham Bashi
Ariel Isak 1922 - 1926 Hakham Bashi
Bejerano Haim 1926 - 1931 Hakham Bashi
Saki Haim Isak 1931 - 1940 Hakham Bashi
Saban Rafael David 1940 - 1960 Hakham Bashi
Asseo David 1961 - 2002 Hakham Bashi
Haleva Isak 2003 - Hakham Bashi

Acknowledgements

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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