Sephardic/Mizrachi News

שלום רב לכולכן/ם,

שמח, נרגש וגאה לצרף לכן/ם את הקישור לריאיון הרדיו הערב – בקול ישראל, "המדור לחיפוש קרובים" (תכניתו של איזי מן), על הנדון.

 

בברכה רבה!!!

אברהם (אבי) חולי

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Sephardi ideas monthly

Sobato Morais

Sabato Morais was born in Livorno, Italy, and educated in the Western Sephardic tradition of “enlightened orthodoxy” that was rooted in Andalusian and Italian Jewish literature. After a stopover in England, where he became fluent in English, Morais was appointed leader of Philadelphia’s historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Congregation Mikveh Israel, in 1851. From that position, Morais preached: “a vision of regenerated Jewish life in America based upon an image of Sephardic cultural openness.” 

What were the principal elements of Morais’ vision? Kiron delineates how Sabato sought to emphasize “Biblical rather than Talmudic study as the basis of a devout Jewish religious curriculum.” However, while the Bible provided the base, the breadth of that tradition was framed according to the Andalusian Jewish paradigm that animated Sabato’s education in Livorno. In Sabato’s words: “‘Religious and secular lore flourished among them… poetry… was cultivated in their academies. No knowledge, however abstruse, no philosophy, however profound, was neglected by the luminaries of our nation.’” 

Energized by this vision of “enlightened orthodoxy,” Sabato was an abolitionist, supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, spoke out on behalf of Native Americans, Chinese immigrants, and Armenians, promoted ecumenical engagement, and became one of the founding fathers of the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1886. Although widely admired in his day as a scholar and visionary, Morais’ role and founding vision faded after the JTS changed direction in 1902 and rebranded itself as the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTSA). Next month’s essay, also by Professor Kiron, will treat the now-forgotten, “Sephardic Italian Jewish Theological Seminary of Sabato Morais.”

Casa Shalom will hold an event in memory of Mrs. Gloria Mound  (1930-2017)

Founder and Director of Casa Shalom

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at the New Synagogue of Netanya, 7 MacDonald Street

7:00 PM

We must speak out on behalf of Kaifeng Jewry

Over the past two years, a series of disturbing developments has taken place in Kaifeng, China, one that threatens the future of the city's tiny Chinese Jewish community. Inexplicably, certain local authorities have launched what can only be described as a crackdown on any expression of Jewish life in Kaifeng, and it is time for Israel and world Jewry to speak out and raise this issue with Beijing.

 

For more than a decade, Shavei Israel, the organization that I chair, has been working to assist the Kaifeng Jews, as a growing number have sought to learn more about their ancestral heritage and return to our people. We have brought some 20 Chinese Jews on aliya, published books and other materials on Jewish topics in Chinese and conducted classes via Skype for community members.

 

After years in which the Kaifeng Jews were being targeted by foreign Christian missionaries for conversion I felt that I could not sit idly by, so in 2010, Shavei Israel opened its own competing center in Kaifeng to provide an authentically Jewish environment where the Chinese Jews could learn about Jewish history, culture and values. Activities ranged from studying Hebrew to Jewish cooking classes to learning about ancient Jewish texts and traditions. Some drew dozens of people, and Jewish holiday celebrations proved to be especially popular.

 

The center operated until 2014, when local authorities raided it during Passover, ordering that the mezuzot and all signs containing Hebrew words be taken down immediately. Since then, other worrisome measures have included the closure of the site of the well which served as the community's historic mikve as well as periodic interrogations of the Kaifeng Jews by local police. In some instances, Jewish tour groups from abroad have even been prohibited from visiting the city altogether.
It is truly difficult to comprehend what lies behind this mounting pattern of harassment, particularly in light of the fact that China and its people have been warm and welcoming hosts to Jews for well over a thousand years.
The first Jews are believed to have settled in Kaifeng, which is located some 600 kilometers southwest of Beijing on the southern banks of the Yellow River, in the 7th or 8th century CE. They were Sephardic Jews from Persia or Iraq who traveled along the Silk Road and received the Chinese emperor's blessing to reside in Kaifeng, which at the time was an imperial capital of the Song dynasty.

 

Subsequently, China provided its Jews with a comfortable home, free of the anti-Semitism, hatred and persecution that plagued Jewish communities
elsewhere in the Diaspora.

 

In 1163, Kaifeng's Jews built a beautiful synagogue, which was subsequently renovated and rebuilt numerous times. At its peak, during the Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644), Kaifeng Jewry may have numbered as many as 5,000 people.
But by the middle of the 1800s, widespread assimilation and intermarriage had all but erased the Chinese Jews' knowledge of Judaism. After the last rabbi of the community died sometime in the first half of the 19th century, and the synagogue which had stood for some seven centuries was destroyed in a series of floods, Kaifeng's Jewish community effectively disbanded. But that was not the end of the story, for against all odds, Kaifeng's Jews struggled to preserve their Jewish identity, passing down whatever little they knew to their progeny.

 

All told, there are now an estimated 1,000 people in Kaifeng who are identifiable as descendants of the city's once-thriving Jewish community.
Many have great reverence for their ancestors, a cultural attribute that is also characteristic of Chinese society generally, and several hundred have shown an interest in learning more about the ways of their forefathers, their history and legacy.

 

But the developments in Kaifeng over the past two years and the increasingly ominous treatment of the local Jewish community now threaten to unravel the age old bonds of friendship between China and the Jewish people.

 

Earlier this year, Anson Laytner of the Sino-Judaic Institute boldly raised the issue of what was occurring in Kaifeng in his blog, and the story was later picked up by The Forward newspaper.

 

At the time I feared the move was premature and could perhaps further complicate the situation in Kaifeng for the Jewish descendants. But after several months of attempting to get Israeli officials to raise the issue quietly with their Chinese counterparts with little discernible effect, I have come to share Laytner's view.

 

As he wrote, "What has China to fear from 500 to 1,000 Kaifeng Jews? They are a drop in the bucket of China's population."

 

Indeed, it is now imperative to shine a public light on the treatment being meted out to Kaifeng's Jews. Simply put, Chinese Jews who wish to learn more about their heritage should be able to do so freely, and it is incumbent upon Israel and world Jewry to deliver this message as urgently as possible.
Eight years ago in these pages, I wrote a column entitled, "Why is Israel ignoring China's Jews?" Sadly, that question still stands. Sure, the issue is a sensitive one, since Jews are not an officially recognized minority group in China's multicultural society, and Judaism is not accorded the status of an official religion. But with the burgeoning of economic, cultural and tourism ties between the two nations, there is no excuse for Israel's continued silence about Kaifeng's Jews.

 

Believe it or not, the Israeli Embassy in Beijing does not bother to keep in touch with the Chinese Jews, nor does it make any concerted attempt to assist them. And despite the existence of various educational exchange programs between China and Israel, the Israeli government has made no effort to enable Kaifeng Jews to take part.

 

Even the process of bringing to Israel those Chinese Jews who wish to make aliya has been incredibly burdensome, as I have had to struggle with the Israeli bureaucracy for years at a time just to obtain permission to bring a small number of them to Jerusalem. It should not have to be so time-consuming and difficult.

 

This sad situation can and must be corrected. There is simply no excuse for Israel to be turning its back on Kaifeng Jewry, who are a living link between our two civilizations. Their continued existence is testimony to the power of Jewish memory and to the centuries-old ties between China and the Jewish people.

 

We must speak out on behalf of Kaifeng Jewry and issue a simple yet clear plea to the authorities in Beijing: stop the crackdown on China's Jews, so we can get back to building a lasting and stronger relationship between our two peoples.

Hommage à Moïse Rahmani
par Clément Dassa

Moïse Rahmani nous a quittés comme il a vécu, en paix. Désormais, mon ami d’enfance, Moïsico, vit à tout jamais dans mon cœur. Il portait son destin dans son nom, Rahmani, le Miséricordieux.

 

Enfants à Héliopolis, dans les années 50, nos vies s’étaient liées : même lycée, même synagogue, même cercle d’amis, même bonheur ensoleillé. Mais très vite, le destin frappait violemment, il émigra au Congo et perdit sa mère, je perdis mon père, et notre communauté fut détruite par le conflit israélo-arabe. Toute notre vie nous avons porté ces pertes dans nos mémoires d’enfants, puis d’adultes. Réfugiés oubliés de tous, nous, nous n’avions rien oublié. Mais nous avons pris le chemin de la paix, de la reconstruction de nos vies, lui en Belgique et moi au Canada, la voie du dialogue et de la défense de notre mémoire et non celle de la haine et de la destruction.

 

 

 

Retrouvailles de Moïse et Clément en 2003

Quand en 2003, après cinquante ans de séparation, nous nous sommes retrouvés, c’était comme si le temps s’était suspendu. Amis indéfectibles, Clément retrouvait Rahmani! C’était le même Moïsico au grand cœur, ayant fondé une famille aimante et devenu une personnalité sépharade, un juste défenseur de la mémoire des nôtres, los muestros. Miséricordieux et clément, Moïse l’a été avec consistance et détermination, il a fait face avec courage et passion à l’indifférence, à la négation de nos valeurs et de nos vies. Il a mis son talent d’écrivain et de communicateur au service de l’expression de notre dignité et de nos traditions de dialogue, de tolérance et de résilience. Il avait le scarinio des êtres chers et des temps heureux perdus, mais aussi un ardent désir de rétablir la vérité sur notre histoire, nos aléas et notre résurgence, à promouvoir les qualités profondes de notre culture sépharade. Mission accomplie, cher Moïse, repose en paix, sachant que ce que tu as créé, vivra.

À la magnifique famille de Moïse que j’ai eu le plaisir de rencontrer et de voir grandir, à Manuela, à Dany, à Myriam et à Gaby, à ses petits-enfants que j’ai connus tout jeunes et dont j’ai suivi l’évolution par les nouvelles et les photos du Nonno fier et aimant, je leur présente mes sincères condoléances et me permets de m’associer à l’immense perte qu’ils subissent. Sa mémoire vivra en nous à tout jamais.

 

Clément Dassa

Le 18 septembre 2016

Elazar Behar – z”l

Elazar died recently at age 97. He was a real estate developer and active leader of the Rhodian synagogue Ezra Bessarot of Seattle, Washington, USA. He was the son of Rev. David Behar, religious leader of the community and originally of Beirut. He descended also from the Scharhon and other Sephardic families from Rhodes. I had the privilege of interviewing him a week before his death.

 

Yehi Zichro Baruch! – Y.K. 

 

 

Establishment of a Network for South-Eastern European Jewish Studies

Genoa

Commemoration Marks 80 Years Since Founding of New Building

On May 29, the Jewish community of Genoa celebrated the 80th anniversary of its current synagogue building. The program included historical lectures by Chief Rabbi Guiseppe Mornigliano and Italian and Israeli scholars, as well as a performance by Jewish Italian performers Enrico Fink and Gabriele Coen. It concluded with the Arvit prayer.  You can read more here:

https://www.facebook.com/Comunità-Ebraica-di-Genova-290631180990325/

 

 

Gibraltar

Gibraltar’s Jewish Community Hosts 600 Russian Students

Some 600 Russian Jewish students came to Gibraltar in early May as part of a tour across Europe to visit various cities. Led by the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, the group was greeted by the President of the Gibraltar Jewish Community, James Levy, and the Rabbi of Gibraltar, Roni Hassid. “We are very, very pleased to have them,” Mr Levy told a local newspaper. You can read more here:

http://chronicle.gi/2016/05/piazza-celebration-for-jewish-students/

 

 

Manchester

Moore Lane Features Talk by Ashley Perry

On June 4th, the Moor Lane Congregation hosted a talk by Ashley Perry, Director General of the Israeli Knesset's Caucus for the Reconnection with the Spanish & Portuguese Jewish Communities. Perry is also president of Reconectar, a project is aimed at facilitating the reconnection of descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities with the Jewish people. You can read more about the organization’s activities here: http://reconectar.co/?a=home

 

 

השגריר מרדכי ארבל ז”ל

פורסם בתאריך 31.05.16 – כ״ג באייר תשע״ו מאת World Jewish Congressיוני 1, 2016
המנוח היה דיפלומט והיסטוריון.

הקונגרס היהודי העולמי והמועצה הישראלית ליחסי חוץ אבלים ומנחמים את המשפחה על מות יקירם

 

Bayonne
Synagogue Closed to Repair Major Damage, Assistance is Welcome

The historic synagogue of Bayonne, France, was struck this past year by a termite infestation and has had to close until proper repairs can be made. To date, the ceiling has been repaired but additional work is needed to complete the project. If you would like inquire about assisting the synagogue, please write to Caroline Bentolila (carolinebentolila@yahoo.fr) or aci.bayonne@club-internet.fr.

The Bayonne community was established in the 16th Century by Spanish & Portuguese Jews fleeing the Inquisition. The current synagogue building was built in 1837. You can read more about the community here: http://www.sandpcentral.org/#!bayonne/c1cq5

 

 

Livorno Jewish Community Releases New CD of Melodies

The Comunita Ebraica di Livorno has released a new CD of melodies, Niggun Livorno – Cento Anni di Composizioni Ebraiche a Livorno [Livorno’s Niggun – a Century of Jewish Music from Livorno], in memory of Rav Elio Toaff  z’l (1915-2015). The melodies are sung by Hazan Daniele Bedarida and the Ernesto Ventura Choir directed by Maestro Paolo Filidei and include a significant selection of choir pieces by Jewish Livornese composers in the past hundred years. The CD is available for purchase ($15) by writing to comunitaebraica.livorno@gmail.com

 

 

New York

Prestigious Harvard Fellowship Awarded to Rabbi Richard Hidary

Rabbi Dr. Richard Hidary, Distinguished Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation Shearith Israel, was selected for the Henry Starr Fellowship in Judaica at Harvard University. Rabbi Hidary, who is Associate Professor in Jewish History at Yeshiva University, will focus on the topic of Jews in the Classical World. You can read more here: 

http://blogs.yu.edu/revel/2016/02/16/prof-hidary-lands-prestigious-fellowship-at-harvard/

 

 

 

Prof. Amnon Shiloah z”l

We mourn the loss of our esteemed colleague Prof. Amnon Shiloah, musicologist and emeritus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born in the ex-Yugoslavia, he had knowledge of Slavic languages and local cultures. He researched the liturgical music of the Romaniote Jews of Ioannina, did many field interviews, and created a record of their music. He also knew Arabic and researched the music of the Jews of North Africa and the culture of the Judeo-Arabic speaking Jews. He also did valuable research on the music of Asher Mizrachi, initially of Jerusalem, who became a national legendary singer in Tunis, Tunisia. He had a special collection of music and instruments from the Sephardic and Muslim world which he exhibited at his Jerusalem apartment and had much material in storage. He was always willing to assist students and colleagues.

 

He will be dearly missed.

 

Yehi Zichro Baruch! -  Y.K.

 

 

 

 

Jacko Mastro z”l  -

We mourn the death of Jacko Mastro at age 87 in Bat Yam, Israel. At age 14 in 1943 he was deported from Salonika to Auschwitz/Birkenau and quickly became a translator and work coordinator for 16,000 Jewish camp inmates. He saved many lives by bribing Nazi officers and smuggled in dynamite for the Sonderkommando revolt. He eased the treacherous situation of Jewish inmates by transferring them to easier work commandos, transferring the sick to infirmaries, and took out people alive from the gas chambers or appels where they were chosen for death. Yad Vashem discriminated against him as a Sephardi Jew and rejected a book about his life by scholar Gidon Grief; which in the end was published privately in Hebrew at the expsense at Jacko’s adult children Naima and Daniel. He will be greatly missed. Zehi Zichro Baruch – Y,K,

 

 

 

מכון סברדלין להיסטוריה ותרבות של אמריקה הלטינית מודיע על:

אירוע פתיחת האוסף והארכיון של

ד"ר משה נס-אל ז"ל

יישאו דברים לזכרו:

ד"ר מרגלית בז'רנו ד"ר רוזלי סיטמן

פרופ' ברוך ארנסבורג יעקב נס-אל

ד"ר חררדו לייבנר

בקומת הכניסה של הספרייה המרכזית סוראסקי.

במלאות שנה לפטירתו,

18:00 ,2015 בנובמבר 11 -ב ניפגש

כניסה משער 8- רחוב חיים לבנון.

קוד אירוע - 1073838

 

Former health minister Shoshana Arbeli-Almozlino passes away

 

The former Labor party minister made Aliyah in 1947 from Iraq, and helped found Kibbutz Neve Ur; she served in the 6th-12th Knessets.

Rotem Elizera, Ahiya Raved

 

Former health minister Shoshana Arbeli-Almozlino passed away on Friday morning at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. She was 89 years old.

Arbeli-Almozlino served as an MK for the Alignment and Labor parties from the 6th to the 12th Knesset.

She was born in Iraq in 1926, where she was a member of HeHalutz (The Pioneer), an umbrella organization of the pioneering Zionist youth movements, and was arrested because of her activity for the organization.

 

 

ARIE ELIAS Z”L –

 

WE MOURN THE LOSS OFARIE ELIAS AT AGE 94. HE WAS AN IRAQI ISRAELI FILM AND THEATER ACTOR. I SPOKE WITH HIM ON MANY OCCASIONS AT IRAQI JEWISH EVENTS IN ISRAEL. HE COULD RECITE SHAKEPEARE IN ARABIC BY HEART, AND WAS NOTED FOR HIS HUMOR. HE PLAYED IN THE CLASSIC ISRAELI FILMS CASABLAN AND THE POLICEMAN AZULAI. HE WILL BE MISSED GREATLY.

YEHI ZICHRO BARUCH1

 

 

 

Rome

 

Passing of Rabbi Elio Toaff, Chief Rabbi of Rome

 

 

Rabbi Elio Toaff, the chief rabbi of Rome for some 50 years, passed away on April 20. He was born in Livorno, son of the chief rabbi there. As a young man, he served in the Italian Resistance against the Nazis, and subsequent to the war, helped lead the Italian Jewish community out of the war's devastation. In 1986, he invited Pope John Paul II to visit the Great Synagogue, which was the first known visit by a pope to a synagogue. You can read more about him here:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/21/world/europe/elio-toaff-spiritual-leader-of-italian-jews-dies-at-99.html

Dr. Ephraim Yaakov z”l

 

 We deeply mourn the premature death of the researcher and scholar of Yemenite Jewry, Dr. Ephraim Yaakov. He was very modest, but was  persistent and active in annotating the music, history, and cultue of Yemenite Jewry. He worked at the National Sound Archives at the National Library in Jerusalem for many years. His contribution to recording the music of the Yemenite Jews from the Huggariya region and their speech and history was very unique and invaluable.

 

He was very learned in Jewish tradition and Jewish history. He was supporter of the ongoing effort to found a Sephardic/Eastern Jewish museum and cultural arts center in Jerusalem, appeared often on radio about Yemenite Jewry, and edited public publications and ongoing newsletters on Yemenite Jewry. He also was a student of the noted deceased Yeshaiyahu Lebovitch and helped publish many of his works and teachings post-mortum.

 

“Efi” as we called him was always willing to help, give advice, and added his humor to the daily life of those he knew and encountered. In Hebrew, he coined the @ sign as “Jachnun” (the Yemenite delicacy)  instead of “strudel” as it is known in modern Hebrew and this also is part of his legacy.

 

He often preferred not to publish and appear at conferences in order to avoid conflict or not fall into discriminatory groups. He had a lot of dignity, but he also endlessly toiled to make his contribution as a researcher and ensure the preservation of Yemenite culture and heritage. He was critical and erudite, but also active and encouraged inclusion as opposed to exclusion.

 

His untimely death left his colleagues out of sinc and hopefully he will be memorialized in publications and even institutions. Efi z”l will be greatly missed, but remembered.

Yehi Zichro Baruch! – Y.K. 

 

On March 31, 2015 Dr. Efrayim Yaacov, a foremost scholar of Jewish studies and avid ethnographer specializing in the Yemenite Jewish traditions passed away at the young age of 61. Efi, as he was called by his many colleagues, friends and disciples, was an unusual combination of an academic scholar, teacher, broadcaster, and collector of raw materials in various media such as manuscripts, rare books, old commercial recordings and more. As an old-time employee of the National Sound Archives at the National Library, Efi was in close contact with the Jewish Music Research Center throughout his career. He participated in its activities, was in constant dialogue with the staff and was advisor and colleague to younger scholars. His enthusiasm for research and ethnography was contagious and his energy relentless.

Efi’s contribution to ethnomusicology focused particularly on the Jewish musical traditions of al-Huggariya region in Central-West Yemen, a community of which he was a prominent and proud representative. As an active cantor at the Tifereth Israel synagogue in Naharia, his home town in northern Israel where many Jews from Huggariya settled, he commanded the musical traditions of his forefathers and was instrumental in preserving it for posterity with his own voice. His self-recordings at the National Sound Archive (see attachment), as well as the recordings he did with rabbis and cantors of diverse Yemenite-Jewish communities are a rich repository that will certainly nurture future generations of scholars. Regretfully, only a smidgen of what Efi knew about music was translated into scholarly publications, such as his seminal article with Uri Sharvit, “The Hallelot among the Jewish of Huggariya and Central Yemen” (Pe’amim 19 [1984], pp. 130-162).

Dr. Yaacov summarized his path-breaking research on Huggariya and its Jews in his book, Teimana: Introduction to the Al-Huggarya Region by Mori Yosef Racha (Jerusalem, 1995). Another book, The Kabbalah in Yemen based on his doctoral dissertation under Prof. Moshe Idel, is being edited by the Ben Zvi Institute for the Research of the Oriental and Sephardi Jewry in Jerusalem.  Efi was also a close disciple of the late Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994) and edited some of his works such as Faith, History, and Values: Articles and Lectures (Jerusalem, 1982; in Hebrew) and Remarks on the Weekly Portion (Jerusalem, 1987; in Hebrew).

May his soul rest in peace and his family and disciples be consoled with all the mourners of Jerusalem. 

 

 

 

Elie Schalit z”l 

b. Jerusalem, 1921 – d. Tel Aviv, 2015). – It is with great sorrow, that we learn of the death of the benefactor and shipping magnet Eli schalit. His ancestors were amongst the founders of Rishon Letzion, and he quietly achieved much clandestinely in purchasing and smuggling boats, and arranging transports of equipment in 1947/8  for the Hagana. He was amongst the team that purchased the “President Warfield’ (the famous “Exodus” illegal immigration ship) in 1947.  In 1948, he helped organize the clandestine shipment of badly needed aircraft for the war of Independence by sea to the Israeli Air Force which was being formed.

He went to school at the Reali School in Haifa, the Herziliya Gymnasium in Tel Aviv, and studied at Texas A & m, and Louisiana University. It was very rare for a Jew who grew up in eretz-Israel in the 1930s to have so many opportunities to study and work abroad.

In 1948, he co-founded the “American-Israeli Shipping Line Company” and the “Israel-America line”. He built many non-combustible cruise ships, ferries, and was major ship transporter gobally. In 1962 in Lubeck, Germany, he built “M/V Freeport”, the world’s first non-combustible cruise ferry. In shipping in the late 1950s and until 1962, he organized worldwide non-ferrous ore transport and ship brokered worldwide frozen tuna transport.

He was a major benefactor for the Casa Shalom Institute for Anusim/Marrano studies and in creating the library and Institute for Ansuim/Marrano Studies at Netanya Academic College. He helped sponsor temporary exhibits in 1992 and onward on Christopher Columbus and collected numerous artifacts, historical maps and documents related to navigation and discovery in the New World,  and valuable Judaica books from Spain. He was an Israeli patriot and a great supporter of commemorating the heritage of Sephardic Jewry and meeting the needs of anusim returning to Judaism. He will be greatly missed.

Yehi Zichro Barcuch! – Y.K. 

 

 

 

 

Mathilde Tagger z”l 

 

It is with great sadness that we learn of Matlide’s sudden passing. It was just a year ago that she overcame a heart-attack while making a presentation on the Montefiore census project at mishkenotSha’ananim at a commemorative conference to Sir Moses Montefiore. We knew each other and collaborated for over three decades. Together we wrote Guidebook for Sephardic and Oriental Genealogical Sources in Israel (Avotaynu, 2006) and it received second prize in 2007 by the International Society of Jewish Librarians for the best research book of the year published in the Jewish world. Recently Matilde published with Avotaynu  the Dictionary of Bulgarian Jewish Surnames. She made great efforts in the past to lead the Israel Genealogy Society and its Jerusalem branch, make available and compose data bases, and she created data bases for Jerusalem death records from the compilation HelkatMechokek, and transcribing and putting online the 5 Montefiore censuses. She was always researching, writing, organizing, and networking. Jewish and Sephardic genealogy was her life vocation after she retired as a librarian. She also composed a volume on Tunisian rabbis RabaneiTarshish.

In the French sphere, she published many research articles in Cercle Genealogique in Paris and the now defunct Etsi, dedicated to Sephardic genealogy.

Mathilde grew up in Casablanca. Her father was a prominent Zionist leader. As a young woman she migrated to Israel and lived and worked in Jerusalem. She researched her Moroccan Jewish roots as well as the community of her husband’s ethnic origin; Bulgarian Jewry. She joined my effort to create a Sephardic museum in Jerusalem, The Heritage House for Sephardic and Mizrachi communities.

Three weeks ago she was awarded for her volunteer work in the Montefiore census project by IGRA, the Israeli Genenalogy Research Association. At the time of her recent untimely death.she was working on three additional books, and at a preliminary stage, a research project with myself on Balkan Jewry. Hopefully these projects will be published by Avotaynu and elsewhere.

 She leaves a husband Aharon, a retured pharmacist, two sons Yigal and Eran, a daughter Yael, and many grandchildren. She will be greatly missed. Hopefully her memory and work will be memorialized in many public projects and institutions in Israel and aborad.

YehiZichra Baruch! – Y. K. 

 

The family asked to inform that the funeral for Mathilde was hold on Sunday, December 28. 

 

IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award for 2007 was presented to Mathilde Tagger The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a living individual for a lifetime of outstanding contributions of major significance and benefit to Jewish genealogy.
IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award for 2007 was presented to  Mathilde Tagger

"In recognition of her huge impact on the advancement of Sephardic Jewish genealogy, through her personal research, including translations, transliterations, and indexes; through the publication of her book Guidebook for Sephardic and Oriental Genealogical Sources in Israel;
through her numerous scholarly publications; and through her unstinting personal assistance to individual researchers.."
Unable to attend the conference, Mathilde Tagger received the award in Israel from the Secretary of the Tel-Aviv Branch of the Israel Genealogical Society, Rose Feldman, who accepted the award at the banquet in her behalf.