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Jaffe Rabbinical Family Tree

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The Jaffe Family (also Yaffe, Jaffee and Joffe) (Hebrew: יפה) is one of the oldest and most distinguished Ashkenazi Jewish Rabbinical families. Originally from Bohemia, members of the family have produced numerous famous rabbis, scholars, and communal workers, with members in Germany, Austria, Poland, Great Britain, Italy, The United States, Canada, and Israel. The family traces its descent to Elhanan ben Isaac Jaffe of Dampierre (d. 1184), with minor branches descending from Mordecai Jaffe of Prague (c. 1530 - 1612), Joel Sirkis-Jaffe of Kraków (1561 - 1640) and Jacob Margolioth-Jaffe of Nuremberg (1430 - 1492).

The family progenitor Elhanan ben Isaac Jaffe of Dampierre was a French Tosafist and the son of Isaac ben Samuel who was the paternal grandson of Simhah ben Samuel of Vitry and the maternal grandson of Meir ben Samuel, making Elhanan ben Isaac the great-great-grandson of Rashi. Rashi himself claimed to be a 33rd-generation descendant of Johanan HaSandlar, who was a fourth-generation descendant of Gamaliel, who was reputedly a descendant of King David. Making the Jaffe family alleged members of the Davidic line. In the 14th century, the family moved to Germany and Italy, where they served as Chief Rabbis and Av Bet Dins. In the 15th century, a large percentage of the family moved to Bohemia, where they achieved even greater prominence

Lineage of the Jaffe Rabbinical Family -


Profiles on Geni

  • 1. Aaron Jaffe of Uman (1568-1652) - Rabbi at Uman, escaped Cossack uprising (1648) to Glusk.
  • 2. Abraham Abba ben Israel Jaffe - Rabbi at Ponevezh, author of 'Sfatayim' & 'Bet Yisrael' 
  • 3. Abraham b. Aryeh Loeb Kalman - Author of 'Ma'ayan ha-Hokhmah', Kaballist
  • 4. Abraham b. Kalonymus of Lublin  - Author of 'Adderet Eliyahu' 
  • 5. Anselm Benjamin Jaffe (1812) - publisher of Pentateuch with commentaries. 
  • 6. Asher Jacob Abraham b. Aryeh Loeb Kalman - Author of Ha-Eshel & 'Birkat Abraham'.
  • 8. Enoch Zundel Jaffe - Grammarian and authority on the Masorah; 18th. century. 
  • 9. Frank Jaffe - translated Mapas' 'Ahabat Ziyyon' to English under the title "Amnon, Prince and Peasant" (London, 1887). 
  • 10. Hirsch b. Benzion Shlez - Author of 'Te'ome Zeviyyah' & Sichat Chullin Warsaw, 1889.
  • 11. Isaac b. Joseph Jaffe-Ashkenazi - Studied in Padua under Judah b. Eliezer Minz.
  • 12. Isaac Kalman of Lublin - 17th century. Author of 'Birkat Tov'
  • 13. Israel ben Aaron Jaffe (Saba) -  Russian rabbi; born at Uman in 1640; died at Frankfurt  after 1702. Author of Or Yisrael in opposition to Shabtai Zvi. Also wrote 'Tif'eret Yisrael (Milchamot Adonai)', 'Kishut Tov' & 'Sefer Yisrael Zuta'
  • 14. Israel David b. Mordecai Margolies-Schlesinger-Jaffe - Rabbi at Bosing, Hungary; descendant of Mordecai Jaffe. Author of Mecholot ha-Machanayim, Har Tabor & Hazon la-Mo'ed 
  • 15. Israel b. Jedidiah - Cantor at Suwalki and New York city; author of 'Ishe Yisrael'.
  • 16. Israel Joffe - Rabbi who settled in Hebron in 19th. century.
  • 17. Jacob Jaffe - Rabbi at Ludvinovi; Author of 'Gufe Halachot'.
  • 18. Jacob b. Abraham b. Kalonymus b. Mordechai (called also Jacob Kalman): In 1662 he reestablished the Hebrew printing-press at Lublin, which had been closed in 1648 on account of the Cossack uprising.
  • 19. Jacob of Krink - Author of 'Da'at Kedoshim' 
  • 20. Joseph b. Mordecai b. Joseph of Plungian - President of the Lithuanian council in 1779. 
  • 21. Joseph b. Moses Jaffe (1846-1897) - Russian rabbi in Pokroi, Salant and in Mancheste, retaining the position until his death. Author of 'Yosef Bi'ur' on Canticles, & 'Ha-Sechel ve ha-Yezer'.
  • 22. Judah Loeb b. Asher Selig Margolioth - Rabbi at Suchostav, Kapitschintze, Buzhanov, Lesla, Plotzk, and Frankfurt till 1811. Author of 'Matte Moshe'.
  • 23. Judah Loeb Kalman - District rabbi of Eidlitz in the seventeenth century. 
  • 24. Judah Loeb b. Shabbethai Jaffe - Rabbi at Chernigov in 1818.
  • 25. Kalonymus ben Mordecai Jaffe - Around 1556 he founded a Hebrew printing-press in Lublin, published copy of the Pentateuch, Talmud and Abravanel's 'Zevah Pesach'. Died in 1603.
  • 26. Kim Kaddish Jaffe -  Dayyan; author of 'Sefer Ma'amar Kaddishin al-Hoshen Mishpat'.
  • 27. Mordecai Jaffe - Ba'al haLevushim (1530-1612) - Codifier of rabbinical law; studied astronomy in Venice; rabbi in Lublin, Kremenetz, Prague and Posen; one of the leaders of the Council of Four Lands . Author of 'Levush' .
  • 28. Mordecai Jaffe - Rabbi at Zelve in the eighteenth century.
  • 29. Mordecai (Marcus) Jaffe of Berlin (1770-1812) - Rabbi at Schwerin; his correspondence with Moses Mendelssohn is preserved in 'Bikkure ha-'Ittim'.
  • 30. Mordecai Jaffe of Brody - Rabbi at Gorochov till 1828.
  • 31. Mordecai Gimpel Jaffe - Rabbi at Ruzhany; died at Yehud (colony), near PetahTiqva in 1892. Active for Zionist settlement among the Jews of Russia, wrote many articles on Zionism in 'ha-Lebanon'.
  • 32. Mordecai b. Joseph of Plungian (1721-) - went as child to Plungian. Rabbi at Keidany.
  • 33. Mordecai b. Meir of Zamoscz -  Author of 'Tavnit ha-Bayit'.
  • 34. Mordecai b. Moses of Prague (-1568) - Rabbi of Grodno and later rosh yeshiva in Cracow. 
  • 35. Moses b. Eliezer Jaffe of Bologna- Born in Poland; removed to Italy, prominent as a rabbi in late 15th century.
  • 36. Moses b. Eliezer Jaffe (-1520) - Rabbi at Cracow; grandfather of Joel Sirkes.
  • 37. Moses ben Issachar - Author of 'Pene Moshe', Lublin 1681.
  • 38. Moses b. Mordecai (b. Joseph) - Rabbi at Wilkoviski in the eighteenth century. 
  • 39. Raphael b. Jekuthiel ha-Kohen (1722-1800) - Rabbi in Hamburg 1722-1800. 
  • 40. Samuel Chayyim - Rabbi at Meseritz (Mezhirechye). 
  • 41. Samuel b. Isaac Jaffe - Author of 'Yefeh To'ar' & 'Yefeh Anaf'.
  • 42. Shabbethai b. Abraham Jaffe - Rabbi at Weksna. 
  • 43. Joel Sirkis ben Samuel Jaffe (1561-1640) - The Bach (Bayit Chadash), Kaballist, Polish rabbi in Lubcow, Lublin, Miedzyboz, Belz, Szydlowka, Brest-Litovsk and Cracow; student of Rabbi Phoebus; author of 'Bayit Chadash', 'Hagahot haBach', 'Meshiv Nefesh' & 'Teshuvot ha-Bach'.
  • 44. Tobiah b. Mordecai (b. Joseph of Plungian) - Rabbi at Indur (1765-69) & Tykotzin. 
  • 45. Abraham Jaffe - Rabbi at Zitomir; author of 'Mishnat Abraham'.
  • 46. Dov Ber Jaffe  - Rabbi at Wirzen & Salant.
  • 47. Elijah Ragoler - Rabbi at Kalish.
  • 48. Joshua Hoschel b. Dov Ber Jaffe (1846-1898) - Rabbi at Plungian, Novgorod, Wirzen and New York. 
  • 49. Menachem Mendel Jaffe (19th. cent) - Rabbi in Hamburg; author of 'Bet Menachem'.
  • 50. Mordecai Michael b. Menahem Jaffe Raphael (-1782) - Rabbi of Peiser; author of 'Or la-Yesharim'. 
  • 51. Samuel - Rabbi in Bialestok; author of 'Bigde Yesha'.
  • 52. Shalom Elhanan b. Simon Jaffe - Rabbi in New York; Author of 'Peri Eshel', 'Tefillat Shlomo', 'Sho'el Ke-Inyan', 'Siach Shlomo'.


A branch of the Jaffe's are descended from the "Or Yisrael", Rabbi Yisrael Jaffe who was descended from the Kalmankes-Jaffe family of printers of Lublin. 
This family was not descended from the Levush, but rather from Mordekhai Zinger ben Moshe Jaffe whose wife Falka was a daughter of Yoel Zinger, whose wife was a daughter of Yitskhak Klauber, whose wife was a daughter of Eliezer Lipman Shrentzels whose wife Dreizel was a daughter of Yekhiel Luria, descended from Rashi.
So the Hebron Jaffe’s family tradition of descent from Rashi, was through one branch of the Jaffe family which was descended through various marriages from the Lurias and Rashi. 


The Jaffe Rabbinical Branches


Some Illustrious Joffes, Jaffes, Ioffes, Yoffes   

  • Abraham Z. Joffe (1909-2000) -  Soviet and Israeli mycologist.
  • General Avraham Yoffe (1913-1983) - Head of Israeli Southern Command, and Northern Command during Six Day War.
  • Abram Fedorovich Ioffe (1880-1960) - Russian physicist and Hero of Soviet Labour.
  • Adolph Joffe (1883-1927) - Russian Marxist revolutionary, Soviet politician and Trotsky loyalist.
  • Anastasia Gloushkov Inna Yoffe -  Synchronized Swimmer at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
  • Charles Joffe (1879-1941) - Chess master  
  • Charles H. Joffe (1929-2008) -  American film producer, producer for most Woody Allen films.
  • Lord Joel Goodman Joffe of Liddington (1932-) - British life peer, former head of Oxfam, lawyer for Nelson Mandela 
  • Josef Joffe (1944-) - Editor of German weekly Der Zeit, Professor of international studies at Stanford University.
  • Nadezhda Joffe (1906-1999) - Soviet Trotskyist, exiled and then expelled from the USSR.
  • Roland Joffe (1945-) - British film director, 'Killing Fields', 'The Mission' and more.
  • Al Jaffee (1921-) - American cartoonist, 'Mad' magazine
  • Eliezer Jaffe (1881-1942) - Founder of the first moshav, Nahalal, and the Tnuva Dairy.
  • Eliezer Jaffe - Israeli professor of Social Work and Social Welfare.
  • Leib Jaffe - head of Keren HaYesod, editor of Haaretz newspaper.
  • Naomi Jaffe - Marcusean Marxist and member of Weatherman Underground
  • Norman Jaffe (1932-1993) - American architect 
  • Sir Otto Jaffe (1846-1929) - prominent Jewish businessman, High Sheriff and Lord Mayor of Belfast.
  • Philipp Jaffe (1819-1870) - German historian and philologist; Author of 'Regesta Pontificum Romanorum ab Condita Ecclesia ad Annum, Berlin 1851; editor of 'Monumenta Germania Historica'; appointed assistant professor of history at Berlin University.
  • Zvi Hirsch Jaffe (1853-) - Russian mathematician and writer.
  • Rona Jaffe (1932-2005) - U.S. author, 'The Best of Everything', 'Mazes and Monsters'.
  • Sam Jaffe (1891-1984) - US film actor, 'Ben Hur', 'The Asphalt Jungle'.
  • Theodor Julius Jaffe (1823-1898) - German actor and opera singer.
  • Walter Jaffe - an American astronomer
  • Max Jaffe (1841-1900) - German pharmacologist in Konigsberg.
  • Dr. Hillel Jaffe (1864-1936) - Physician noted for his work to counter malaria. Hospital in his name in Hadera.



Mordecai ben Avraham Yoffe (or Jaffe or Joffe) (c. 1530, Prague - March 7, 1612, Posen; Hebrew: מרדכי בן אברהם יפה) was a Rabbi, Rosh yeshiva and posek. He is best known as author of Levush Malkhut, a ten-volume codification of Jewish law that particularly stressed the customs of the Jews of Eastern Europe. He is known as "the Levush", for this work.


Yoffe was born in Prague; he could count amongst his ancestors Rashi and before him Hillel, Elnathan (governor of Judea) and ultimately back to King David. His father, Abraham b. Joseph, was a pupil of Abraham ben Avigdor.

Levush studied under Moses Isserles and Solomon Luria; Mattithiah b. Solomon Delacrut was his teacher in Kabbalah. Yoffe also studied philosophy, astronomy, and mathematics (apparently at the instance of Isserles.

He was Rosh Yeshiva in Prague until 1561, when, by order of the emperor Ferdinand, the Jews were expelled from Bohemia. Yoffe then went to Venice and studied astronomy (1561-71).

In 1572 he was elected rabbi of Grodno; in 1588, rabbi of Lublin, where he became one of the leaders of the Council of Four Lands. Later Yoffe accepted the rabbinate of Kremenetz. In 1592 he was called as rabbi to Prague; from 1599 until his death he occupied the position of chief rabbi of Posen.

In addition to his Torah study, writing and teaching he was involved with communal needs, and attended the fairs at Yaroslav and Lublin, where community leaders and rabbis from large communities met to discuss matters of general interest. These meetings were the forerunners of the Council of the Four Lands and the Council of Lithuania.


Levush Malchut ("Robes of Royalty") is a work of practical halacha, accompanied by the reasons behind the various halachic decisions according to logic and earlier sources, and includes sections on Torah commentary, philosophy, and Mysticism. This work was divided into ten sections known as "levushim" (garments, or "attires").

While still in his youth, Rabbi Yoffe had the idea to compile a book on Jewish law, which would be used for making halachic decisions. The appearance of Caro's Shulchan Arukh, a digest of his Beit Yosef, led Yoffe to consider whether he should continue writing his own work. On reflection, he concluded that there was room for it since it would contain "those laws observed by the Ashkenazi Jews of Bohemia."

When Moshe Isserles' Gloss to the Shulḥan Arukh (called Mappah) appeared in Cracow in 1578, Yoffe felt that Isserles had been too brief as had Caro in the Shulḥan Arukh, and decided to resume his original work, "that will be midway between the two extremes: the lengthy Beit Yosef of Caro on the one hand, and on the other Caro's Shulḥan Arukh together with the Mappah of Isserles, which is too brief "

In all, Yoffe worked on this book almost 50 years. However, after completing his book he was confronted by another Rabbi who had also written a similar work, although not as extensive as Yoffe's. They reached an agreement to publish Yoffe's book and to present the other Rabbi's additional comments in glosses (hagahos) throughout the book [see introduction to his Levush].

The work is organized as follows. The first five "attires" are devoted to the laws expounded in Yosef Caro's Beit Yosef; the sixth, Ha-Orah is an elucidation of Rashi's biblical commentary; the seventh, Simḥah ve-Sason, contains sermons for holidays and weddings.

Yoffe collectively termed the last three, "rabbinic robes," considering that these should be learned by "every student in that order – philosophy, astronomy, and Kabbalah."

These are: the eighth, Pinnat Yikrat, is a commentary on Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed; the ninth, Eder Yakar, is a commentary on the laws of the Jewish calendar according to Maimonides and an additional commentary on Abraham bar Hiyya's geographical-astronomical Tzurat ha-Aretz; the tenth, Even Yikrat, is on Menahem Recanati's commentary on the Torah.

The Levush is an exception among the codifiers in treating ritual-legal matters from a Kabbalistic standpoint; his approach, to a certain extent, "tended to draw together the Talmudists and cabalists, otherwise in danger of an open breach"


The list below has been submitted for attention. Please do not make any changes unless it is in order set below, or post your proposed changes first for discussion. We would appreciate help cleaning up this very important rabbinical branch. Also please feel free to add any additional areas that my need to be rectified.






Corrections and Merges to Discuss:


Rabbi Mordechai Gershon Katz to be merged with
the MP:

Before proceeding, please read the next 3 paragraphs below, as well as the entry for Abigail Olga Jaffe Katzenellenbogen.

According to 
as documented in the notes for this Geni profile, "HaLevush" had 5 children, 

Note: The additional names of children in "HaLevush's" MP profile needs to be merged or explained.



Rabbi Mordechai ben Avraham Jaffe "HaLevush" needs to be corrected and streamlined and merged with a corrected version of :
the MP of Mordechai Yafe Baal Hal'vushim:מרדכי-יפה...



Abigail Olga Katzenellenbogen Jaffe, either cannot have been born in 1525 or she cannot be HaLevush's daughter. The HaLevush was born in 1531.

So compare and correct the MP of Abigail Olga Katzenellenbogen (Jaffe) with information from Avigail Olga's profile.

Abigail Olga Katzenellenbogen Jaffe to be merged with: the MP of Abigail Olga Katzenellenbogen (Jaffe):אביג...?

Needs to be Corrected:

Volka Elka Wahl-Katzenellenbogen and husband Shmuel Wahl Katzenellenbogen

NOTE: This has since been resolved. See this discussion. - (Private User)



Avigail's husband, Samuel Judah Katzenellenbogen: Rabbi Shmuel Yehuda Katzenellenbogen, MaHaShiks, MaHaRaM son #1

to be merged with

the MP of Shmuel Yehuda Katzenellenbogen:

NOTE: See above note on 3).



Avigail's son, Saul Wahl Katzenellenbogen: Saul Wahl Katzenellenbogen (1 day King) to be merged with the following 2 MPs and at least one other duplicate profile of Saul/Shaul Wahl Katzenellenbogen:

A. MP#1 for Saul Wahl Katzenellenbogen:שא...

B. MP#2 for Saul Wahl Katzenellenbogen: Rabbi Saul Katzenellenbogen

C. Third duplicate for Shaul Wahl Katzenellenbogen: 


The above repairs-mergers on Avigail/Abigail, Samuel/Shmuel, and Saul/Shaul Wahl could also necessitate a change of Saul/Shaul Wahl's siblings:



Also there are several duplicate profiles of Saul Wahl's children. These also should be merged with any MP's:



MP#1 of "Maharash" Meir Wahl Moshe Katzenellenbogen:


a duplicate profile of Henele Shor: Henele Schor





Yehuda Aryeh Leib Yaffe Ginz: Daniel Gittinger...


Leite Jaffe: Leita Joffe


Rav Nachum Yaffe:





  • 7) Shmuel Jaffe Sirkes: Shmuel Sirkes His parents here (father: Mordechai ben MOSHE Jaffe and Falka Jaffe (Singer)) are said to be correct.

This needs to be merged with:

Shmuel Yafe Sirkes: (This says his wife's father is Mordechai ben AVRAHAM Yaffe, but in fact his father was Mordechai Jaffe, but not Mordechai ben AVRAHAM "HaLevush" -- Rather, it should be Mordechai ben MOSHE Jaffe.)


  • 8) Kalonymus Jaffe: Klonimus Jaffe (His parents are said to be correct. The corresponding profile below (Klonimus) either needs to be corrected to show the right parents and then merged or deleted. Klonimus Jaffe: Klonimus Jaffe