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The Jeff Malka Sephardic Collection

Rabbis of Morocco 1492-1920's

Malkhei Rabbanan, written by Rabbi Yosef Ben Naim, is a biographical dictionary of Morocco Rabbis. Published in Jerusalem in 1931, the book is an essential source for anyone dealing with the Moroccan Rabbis and their printed or manuscript writings.

Since the time it was published, Malkhei Rabbanan has contributed to the knowledge of scholars, while less educated persons found it difficult to use. Indeed, the biographical articles are alphabetically classified by the Rabbis' given names without any logical order inside a single given name. Another disadvantage is the fact that the entire book is written in archaic Hebrew language and style.

A compromise has been made between the strict rules of transliteration and the common spellings of the surnames. Abraham Laredo's book "Les noms des Juifs du Maroc", Madrid, 1978 was used in many cases as a reference.

Given names were not a problem. The numeration given by Ben Naim was respected, in cases where people had the same surname and identical given name. That's why the reader will see examples like: Aben Danan Saadia I, Aben Danan Saadia II and Aben Danan Saadia III. Where it was clear enough, the father's and even the grandfather's names have been added.

The column "Notes", contains first the locality were the man was Rabbi. These localities are written according to the French spelling, as this is still that language used in the maps of Morocco. So you'll find Tanger and not Tangier, Tetouan and not Tetuan etc..Then comes all the details found like: birth & death, family relation etc. The Hebrew calendar was used in the original, that's why one will find dates like 5349 or 5620 etc..

The role of Rabbi was very often hereditary. This point is enlightened by some big Rabbinical dynasties like the ABEN DANAN (37 Rabbis), ABENSUR (32), BERDUGO (35), SARFATI (30), SERERO (26) and TOLEDANO (53).

1,700 names have been indexed, covering a period generally beginning from the time of the 1492 Expulsion from Spain till the twenties of the 20th cent.

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.

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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