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Jewish Families from Rhodes

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This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the Island of Rhodes.

From the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Rhodes in 1522 until the Holocaust, a vibrant Judeo-Spanish community flourished on this Mediterranean isle. In antiquity, a Romaniote Jewish community lived there.

By the 1700s, Rhodes became an important rabbinical center, and home to a dynasty of Grand Rabbis. In the early 1900s, Rhodeslis émigrés founded colonies in Africa and the Americas.

From Wikipedia, accessed January 15, 2020: "The Jewish community of Rhodes[46] goes back to the first century AD. Kahal Shalom Synagogue, established in 1557, during the Ottoman era, is the oldest synagogue in Greece and still stands in the Jewish quarter of the old town of Rhodes. At its peak in the 1920s, the Jewish community was one-third of the town's total population.[47]

In the 1940s, there were about 2000 Jews of various ethnic backgrounds. The Nazis deported and killed most of the community during the Holocaust. Kahal Shalom has been renovated with the help of foreign donors but few Jews live year-round in Rhodes today, so services are not held on a regular basis.[48]

The Jewish Museum of Rhodes was established in 1997 to preserve the Jewish history and culture of the Jews of Rhodes. It is adjacent to the Kahal Shalom Synagogue." One of the most informative documents prepared by the Museum is the comprehensive LIST of deported individuals. Access the list on this site:

Because of the somewhat isolated community and consanguineous marriages of island residents, there is a coherent nature to the Jewish population. This leads to numerous studies of DNA and family connections between the individuals who were born there and left to go other places. This presents a problem for genealogists in that all names are copied and reused and there are many families with the exact names as other families. Name choice was severely restricted. A more positive view is that this small island with a few thousand Jewish people offers an opportunity to add ALL the Jewish residents to the Jews of Rhodes project here on Geni. That the era of Jewish life on Rhodes came to a sudden end in 1944 offers the end date of this compilation.

Geni itself has many hundreds of DNA related Projects. Go up top here to search box and pull down to Search Projects. Put in " DNA" .

Research and Studies


Facebook offers several sites for Jewish Rhodes family connections. These are not public but interested people can join upon request. One site is for photographs: Jews of Rhodes, Family Pictures. Also for Rhodes is: Children of Rhodes. Also good is: Tracing the Tribe- Jewish Genealogy on Facebook The site Friends of Rhodes is interesting with some commentary in Greek.

The 1939 Jewish Census of Rhodes, Italy

A very recently available and excellent new source for Rhodes family research is the 1939 Census of the Jews of Rhodes, which the Italian fascist government conducted to assess local Jews under the 1938 Racial Laws. The census pages are stored at the USHMM, and the text was transcribed and put online at in late 2021. The images are not online, but you can supposedly see them in person at the USHMM in Washington, DC.

There are some notable mis-transcriptions, especially in cases where the first name and the surname were accidentally swapped by transcribers. For example, it appears that several transcribers didn't realize that "Caden" is a first name, and there are some obvious errors like "Carica" written for "Tarica", etc.

That being said, it's a pretty amazing source for Rhodes folks, and researchers. All women are listed by maiden name, Italian style, and both birthdates and places and marriage dates and places are provided.

However, note that the census takers recorded almost all given names and some surnames in Italian style and spelling, such as listing Raffaele for Raphael, Giuseppe for Joseph, Giacobo for Jacob, Mary for Miriam, Julia or Gioia for Djoya, Giamila for Djamila, Ester or Estrea or Estella or Stella for Esther, Mordocheo or Marco for Mordechai, Samuele for Samuel, and so on.

They sometimes also Italianized the spelling of surnames, like Menasce for Menashe or Menasche, Scemaria for Shemaria, Levi for Levy, Coen for Cohen, etc.

You can also search this census by keyword, leaving the names fields entirely blank, to find people born or married in Smyrne (now Izmir), Budrum (now Bodrum), Kos, Salonica, and so on.

In short, this is an excellent resource for Rhodes researchers, but do be prepared to try multiple ways of searching the data, including using spelling variants, wildcard searches, and keyword searches.

Also remember that unfortunately this census of Jews was a source used by the Nazi's to identify, capture and deport the Jews of Rhodes to the Holocaust camps in 1944. Some researchers identify this collection as the "Civil Registration" or "Civil Registry".

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. USHMM. Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. "The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is the United States' official memorial to the Holocaust. Adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the USHMM provides for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history."


Once Upon a Time at 55th and Hoover is a short documentary film that tells the story of the Sephardic Jews from the island of Rhodes who arrived in Los Angeles in the first half of the 20th century and established a community in the area around 55th Street and Hoover, what is today South Central Los Angeles. The film reveals the intimate connection between community, language and culture.

The film is adapted from (Geni user) Arthur Benveniste's essay, which was posted on his personal website, now offline, but which is available in the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine:

Rabbis of Rhodes

History of the Rabbis of Rhodes Rhodes Jewish Museum / Photos, and Family Tree Charts

Notable Families

Rabbi Dr. Marc D. Angel (Seattle 1945- )
Rabbi Dr. Marc D. Angel is the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York, the historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City which, founded in 1654, constitutes the oldest Jewish congregation in North America.

Rabbi Angel traces his ancestry back to the Sephardic community of Rhodes. His fascination with things Sephardic has led him to write more than 20 books, beginning with The Jews of Rhodes (1978) and includes such titles as La America (about the early Ladino newspaper) and Voices in Exile on the history of Sephardic scholarship. Throughout his life, Angel has played an active role in many national Jewish organizations, both Sephardic and otherwise. He has been a long time President of the Union of Sephardic Congregations, and he served for a time as the president of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA). In his effort to promote Sephardic awareness moreover, Rabbi Angel founded Sephardic House, and he has been a long time member of the Board of Directors of the American Sephardi Federation.

Noteworthy Sephardim - Compiled by Sarina Roffe

Summary of a History lecture in 2009

The family history and genealogy of the Jews of Rhodes and their diaspora will be presented by Leon Taranto of Washington DC, at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State (JGSWS), co-sponsored by Congregation Ezra Bessaroth and Sephardic Bikur Holim.

The event begins at 7pm, Monday, May 11, 2009 at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, 5217 S. Brandon St., Seattle. The city is home to a large Sephardic community with many families from Rhodes.

From the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Rhodes in 1522 until the Holocaust, a vibrant Judeo-Spanish community flourished on this Mediterranean isle. From antiquity, a Romaniote Jewish community lived there.

By the 1700s, Rhodes became an important rabbinical center, and home to a dynasty of Grand Rabbis. In the early 1900s, Rhodeslis émigrés founded colonies in Africa and the Americas.

Taranto will focus on the history of Jewish Rhodes, and genealogical sources such as cemetery gravestones, burial records, Holocaust deportation lists, Italian census records, synagogue plaques, ship manifests, Hebrew books and manuscripts, and marriage, tax, and Alliance Israélite Universelle records.

In his research on the Judeo-Spanish communities of the Ottoman Empire, particularly Smyrna (Izmir) and Rhodes, Taranto has identified more than 5,000 relatives in two dozen countries linked to another 26,000 Sephardim.

He has assisted cousins in developing a 16-generation tree of nearly 3,000 people for the Israel dynasty of Chief Rabbis that served the eastern Mediterranean from 1714-1932.

His articles on Ottoman Sephardic genealogy have appeared in Avotaynu, ETSI–Revue de Genéalogie et d’Histoire Sépharades (France), La Lettre Sepharade (US), and Sharsheret Hadorot (Israel). He has presented programs at four IAJGS conferences and has appeared twice on the Washington DC-area cable program “Tracing Your Family Roots.”

For more information and directions, see the JGSWS site.

From the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906, in the public domain:


By: Gotthard Deutsch, Abraham Galante
Table of Contents Under the Knights Hospitalers. In the Nineteenth Century. Turkish island in the Ægean Sea, and the largest in the Sporades group. This island has successively borne different names, finally preserving that of 'Πόδον. The Bible knew it under the name . In Gen. x. 4 the word occurs, in I Chron. i. 7 (see "Encyc. Bibl." and Hastings, "Dict. Bible," s.v. "Dodanim"). To-day Rhodes, its capital city, is the chief place in the vilayet of the islands of the Ottoman Archipelago. The island has a total population of 30,000, and of these there are about 4,000 Jews in the town and some in the neighboring villages.

Gedaliah ibn Yaḥya states that Rhodes was built by a king of Argolis in the time of the patriarch Jacob ("Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah," p. 77a). In 656 a Jew of Emesa, a Syrian city (modern Ḳoms), bought the débris of the famous Colossus of Rhodes, which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 282 B.C. He conveyed this débris to Loryma, now Marmaritza, twenty-seven miles from Rhodes.

The Jews were established in Rhodes in remotest times. They are mentioned in I Macc. x. 15, 23 as dwelling there in 140 B.C. Benjamin of Tudela relates that he found 500 of them there, and Rottiers says that the Jews who fled from Spain on account of persecution left Tarragona in 1280 and established themselves in Rhodes, which then was held by the Saracens ("Inscriptions et Monuments de Rhodes," Brussels, 1830).

At Malona, a village seven miles from the capital, there exists to-day a street named "Evriaki," which is so called from a Jewish settlement there. This settlement was established before the Knights of St. John arrived at Rhodes (1309), when the Jews occupied the same district in which they live to-day.

Under the Knights Hospitalers. When the walls of the city were repaired by the Knights of St. John, they gave the name "Jews' Wall" to that part which encircled the Jewish quarter. Under the knights' rule the Jews were not always fortunate. According to Lacroix, D'Aubusson, the grand master of the island, ordered the Jews' houses to be razed that the material of which they had been built might be used for the reconstruction of the Jews' Wall, which later was bombarded by Messih Pasha, the Ottoman commander. Elijah Capsali, in his chronicle (ed. Lattes, Padua, 1869), says that after defeating the Turks D'Aubusson ordered the Jews to embrace Christianity. Some accepted baptism, others preferred death, while still others consented to be sold into slavery and were released only after the conquest of the island by Sulaiman. On Jan. 9, 1502, D'Aubusson decreed the expulsion of the Jews from Rhodes, under the pretext that they were corrupting the morals of the young, but owing to the death of the grand master the decree was not completely enforced; nevertheless the Jews of Cos were exiled to Nice. Under the grand master Frederic Caretto, Salim I. sent to Rhodes a Jewish physician, Libertus Cominto, to obtain a map of the island. The physician is said to have succeeded in his task, but he was caught and executed. Some historians claim that he was a convert to Christianity. Under the last grand master, Williers, of the island of Adam, the Jews were allowed to live in peace. On several occasions he visited the Jewish houses and synagogues.

According to Rottiers, some Jews who were exiled under D'Aubusson accompanied as sutlers the Turkish army which besieged the city and captured the island. According to a tradition related as fact by certain historians, especially Baudin, the Jews took part in the war against the Turks. Under the leadership of Simeon Granada, a battalion of 250 Jews was formed, and became known as the "Jewish phalanx." Bilioti, referring to the part taken by the Jews in the struggle against the Turks, says that the Jews were those that had been converted in the time of D'Aubusson and had displayed great valor in the Italian bastion. Florentin Bernard Carli, who witnessed the siege, says that under Turkish order from two to three thousand Jews filled up with sandbags the ditch before the Italian position. When the Turks occupied Rhodes the converted Jews abjured the Christian religion and returned to their ancient belief. Probably Florentin here refers to the Jewish sutlers who accompanied the Turkish army, for the Jews who were within the castle could not have held any communication with the enemy.

While some historians claim that the fall of Rhodes was due to the treachery of Libertus Cominto, others affirm that the real traitor was Knight d'Amaral, whose treason had been discovered by the Jewess Rachel, wife of Simeon Granada.

Some historians claim also that the Jews, afraid of Turkish rule, left the island and went to Italy. Others assert that they preferred to remain on the island and enjoy the bounty of the sultan. This statement may be true in so far as it concerns the Jews who had fought on the side of the Christians,whereas the former statement may refer to the Jews who accompanied the Turkish army. Benjamin Pontremoli relates that Sulaiman knew the utility of the Jews and brought a dozen families from Salonica. He granted them a firman guaranteeing freedom from taxation for twenty years, and decreeing that each family be provided with a house free of expense. Under this firman they were also permitted to mine sulfur, to traverse Mohammedan territory with their dead, to wail as they traveled along the road, and to purchase at ordinary prices food killed according to the ritual law.

From this date until 1675 there are no data of the political history of the Jews of Rhodes, but from 1675 they are repeatedly mentioned in government ordinances.

In the Nineteenth Century. In 1837 a fearful pestilence spread over the island, and, acting on the advice of the grand rabbi, part of the inhabitants fled to the village Candilli, which thenceforward became a Jewish settlement. Among the victims of the scourge there were only ten Jews. In 1840 an accusation of ritual murder was made against the Jews of Rhodes. On the eve of Purim the governor, Yusuf Pasha, at the instigation of the Greek clergy and the European consuls, blockaded the Jewish quarter, arrested the chief rabbi, Jacob Israel, and the chief men, and imprisoned them. But on Nov. 6, owing to the efforts of Count Camondo, Crémieux, and Montefiore, a firman was obtained from the sultan which declared all accusations of ritual murder null and void. It should be mentioned that three Jews and three Christians were taken from Rhodes to Constantinople for trial, and that there the innocence of the Jews was established.

In 1851 much suffering was caused by an earthquake. The community sent Rabbi Raḥamim Franco to Egypt and to Europe to receive funds for relief, and he collected more than 40,000 francs (about $8,000). In 1855 a part of the Jewish quarter suffered damage through the explosion of gunpowder, and in 1863 a fire which destroyed the market paralyzed the trade of the Jews. In 1880, while some Jewish merchants who traded in the island of Cassos were returning to Rhodes to celebrate Passover, the vessel by which they were being conveyed was captured by pirates, and the Jews were despoiled and held as guides; but subsequently, at the instance of the governor of Rhodes, they were rescued and the pirates were seized.

The Jews of Rhodes support two large synagogues, the Great Synagogue, which was destroyed by artillery in 1440, rebuilt by permission of Pope Sixtus IV. in recognition of Jewish services during the siege of the city, destroyed again during a later siege, and rebuilt by Rabbi Samuel Amato; and Shalom Synagogue, built in 1593 by Raphael Margola. There are also two smaller synagogues—the Synagogue Camondo, so called in honor of Count Abraham de Camondo, who built it; and the Tiḳḳun Ḥaẓot—and two batte midrashot. The commerce of the island is controlled by the Jews, among whom there are also many boatmen and porters. The Jews are on good terms with their neighbors.

There are two schools, one for boys and one for girls; also several Talmud Torahs. There is a steady migration to Asia.

Among the rabbis of Rhodes may be mentioned: Ḥayyim ben Menahem Algazi, in the seventeenth century; Moses Israel, author of "Mas'at Mosheh" (Constantinople, 1734); Ezra Malki; Moses ben Elijah Israel, author of "Mosheh Yedabber" (Constantinople, 1827); and Jedidiah ben Samuel Turski, in the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century three rabbis of the Israel family distinguished themselves as authors: Judah b. Moses b. Elijah, and Jacob and Raḥamim Judah (1824-91). The present rabbi (1905) is Moses Judah Franco. Prominent in public life is especially the Menasché family, one of whose members, Boaz Menasché Effendi, is a judge of the court of appeals.

Bibliography: Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah, pp. 77, 78; Harkavy, Neuaufgefundene Hebräische Bibelhandschriften, St. Petersburg, pp. 24, 25-27; Rottiers, Inscriptions et Monuments de Rhodes, Brussels, 1830; Lacroix, Les Iles de la Grèce, pp. 172, 207; Bonhours, L'Histoire de Pierre d'Aubusson, pp. 200 et seq.; Itinéraire d'un Chevalier de St. Jean de Jérusalem à Rhodes, pp. 106-107."


Much material and history is online at Beit Hattutsot, the museum of the Jewish People site at This was renovated and updated and renamed in year 2020 and now called the ANU - Museum of the Jewish People . The $100 million expanded museum replaces Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People (Hebrew: בית התפוצות)

According to a report from the Center for Shepardic Studies at the University of Washington, USA, the Torah scroll of Rhodes survived the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust and is now in Argentina. A video is available, try shepardicstudiesUW/videos .

A current 2019 study of the cemetery on Rhodes is available here:

Records are available on for many hundreds of Holocaust victims associated with the Island of Rhodes. Searching on one common name, Regina Israel, reveals multiple persons with that name alone. Searching on a popular submitter of Pages of Testimony, Moshe Vital, reveals that he alone submitted 1400 victims names and circumstances to Yad Vashem.

A list of the people from Rhodes that survived the Holocaust is well documented on Il Libro della Memori Gll Ebrei deportati del"Italia produced by Liliana Picciota. Commonly called "Liberated from Concentration Camps" , it's a list of about 200 people sorted by last name with parents also listed.

Geni Project "Survivors of the Holocaust" connects these survivors with their families on Geni.

The Geni Project for Mauthausen camps uses a source available on Yad Vashem for a simple list of first and last names and birthdate of people from Rhodes. Link:

The Jewish Virtual Library

The Jewish Virtual Library offers a comprehensive history of Jews on Rhodes here:[]

From Wikipedia, accessed March 10, 2020, Island of Roses: The Jews of Rhodes in Los Angeles is a 1995 documentary about the dying Sephardic community in Los Angeles. The film shares interviews with some of the last surviving immigrants, who offer nostalgic memories of their lost home, and explores how the once vibrant community of Rhodes Jews in Los Angeles now struggles to preserve its traditions as younger, assimilated generations have to make a conscious effort to maintain the practices of their ancestors."

While the Island continued to be governed by Italy a Census was collected in 1938-9. Commonly named the "1939 Census" these records are available on Ancestry, and used now mostly for the Jewish residents. Unfortunately this Census facilitated the collection and deportation of the Jewish population in 1944.

Another factor in the story of Rhodes are the early World War II casualties when the German forces defeated the Greek command on the Island in 1943. Here is a reference to material on that conflict: On July 25, 1943 Mussolini was overthrown and a provisional government was installed. On September 8, 1943, Italy declared an armistice with the Allies and three days later Rhodes was in the hands of the Germans.

During the 1944 battle of Rhodes British aerial bombing took place that caused civilian Jewish deaths. Yad Vashem has Pages of Testimony on some of the victims of the Holocaust on Rhodes during this period. This bombing was done by the British forces nearby Rhodes including one incident on February 8, 1944 when 6 adults and 2 children were killed. Later in April 1944 intense raids caused the destruction of parts of the Jewish area, and killed 26 people as they left the synagogue.

Dr. Elliot Turiel, a Professor in American Universities, has written an account of his childhood on Rhodes that includes information about the British attacks. Link here:

In 2010 a book was been published that may be of interest: Author Cou Bilé Vansteenkiste, grandaughter of Mazaltov Billi's older son. Title "La Révélation Extraordinaire de Mes Racines Juives Séfarades d"Izmir".

Avotaynu seeks participants in DNA studies. See this 2020 link:

From Avotaynu, here is a list of names for documented former residents of Rhodes: The list is current as of August 15, 2020. The names are from the entire recorded census of Rhodes, in English, and some from yad vashem, and other sources.

"Rhodes Surnames: Aboaf, Abouaf, Alagem, Alalouf, Alaluff, Alaman, Albeldos, Albeldus, Alcana, Algazi, Algranate, Algranati, Algrante, Algranti, Alhadef, Alhadeff, Aljadef, Aljadeff, Alkana, Almaleh, Almane, Almelech, Almeleh, Altona, Amado, Amateau, Amato, Amiel, Anbonet, Angel, Arditi, Arditti, Arougheti, Arrugheti, Arrughetti, Artuaji, Artuati, Arugheti, Arughetti, Ascher, Atar, Avramatchi, Avzaradel, Azicri, Bachuck, Bachuk, Bahar, Balleli, Balloul, Barchi, Bardavid, Barki, Barouh, Bassan, Begas, Behar, Beles, Benatar, Benbeniste, Benbenisti, Benoun, Benouzilio, Benun, Benveniste, Benvenisti, Beraha, Bero, Berro, Beton, Betton, Bili, Billi, Biton, Bitton, Bohor, Bonomo, Bornos, Boton, Buchuck, Buchuk, Cabuli, Capallouto, Capalluto, Capalouto, Capaluto, Capel, Capellouto, Capelluto, Capelouto, Capeluto, Capouano, Capouia, Capouya, Capuano, Capuia, Capuya, Caraso, Carasso, Carassu, Carraso, Carrasso, Caston, Chahon, Chajon, Chami, Charhon, Charjon, Chemaria, Chemarya, Codron, Coen, Coenca, Cohen, Cone, Cordova, Cordoval, Cori, Cos, Coston, Couriel, Crespin, Crispin, Curiel, Dafano, Dalmedico, Danon, De Majo, de Narbona, de Vuschal, DeCarmona, DeLeon, Delizio, DeMaio, DeMayo, Denti, deVuschal, Dienti, Dofano, Doschas, ebraica, Elcana, Elkana, Elnecave, Eresa, Ergas, Escapa, Escenazi, Escenazy, Eschenazi, Eschenazy, Eskenazi, Fahn, Ferara, Fereira, Ferreira, Ferrera, Fethiye, Fintz, Finz, Fis, Fiss, Franco, Fresco, Gabay, Gabbai, Gabriel, Gabriele, Galante, Galanti, Galimbri, Gani, Gaon, Gattegno, Gavriele, Gaziantep, , Gerusalmi, Ghani, Gomel, Graziani, Gueron, Habib, HaCoen, HaCohen, Hadara, Hahamatchi, Haim, Hakim, HaLevi, Halfon, Hanan, Hasdai, Hasson, Hazan, Hodara, Hougniu, Hougnou, Hougnu, Houli, Hugnu, Huniu, Isaac, Israel, Jalfon, Janan, Jasson, Jazan, Jerusalmi, Josue, Josué, Kapouya, Kapuia, Kapuya, Kos, Krespin, Krispin, Leon, Levi, Levy, Lisbona, Macri, Maio, Mair, Majo, Makri, Malaga, Malki, Mallel, Maltaiso, Marcos, Margola, Mayo, MeCapouya, Meghri, Megra, Megre, Megri, Mehres, Menache, Menasce, Menasche, Menashe, Merdgian, Merdjan, Merdjian, Mergian, Mir, Mitrani, Mizrachi, Mizrahi, Modiano, Morna, Mousafir, Moussafir, Musafir, Mussafir, Nahmia, Nahmias, Narbona, Nassi, Nehemiah, Notrica, Ovadia, Palombo, Palumbo, Parin, Peha, Pehas, Pelato, Pelosof, Pelosoff, Pelossoff, Perez, Perna, Piha, Pihas, Pilossof, Pinto, Pizante, Pizanti, Pormacona, Rahamin, Rauf, Revah, Rhodes, Rhodi, Rhodos, Rodes, Rodi, Roditi, Roditti, Rodos, Romano, Rosalis, Rosanes, Rosio, Roussao, Rousso, Rozalis, Rozanes, Russo, Sada, Sadis, Sarfati, Sasson, Saul, Scapa, Scemaria, Schalom, Schemaria, Sciami, Sciarhon, Sedicaro, Sefarad, Senior, Shahon, Shajon, Sharhon, Sharjon, Shemaria, Sidi, Sidis, Sigoura, Simson, Sonsino, Sonsol, Soriano, Soulam, Sourmani, Sourmany, Stambuli, Stoc, Stroumsa, Sulam, Surmani, Surmany, Taranto, Tarica, Tarsa, Tiriali, Touriel, Treves, Trevi, Tulim, Turiel, Valanci, Varon, Vegas, Veles, Veniste, Ventoura, Ventura, Vital, Yahudi, Yahudiler, Yani, Yecutiel, Yeschouroun, Yoanino, Zaniri, Zobed "

From Facebook, Isaac Menashe's site Children of Rhodes, Accessed August 2021: Not far from Jerusalem in Israel is the Kissalon Forest with a Memorial Plaque to the memory of the Jewish Communities of Rhodes and Kos. The plaque has a poem written by Nora Menasce. The English translation appears in the book "A History of Jewish Rhodes" by Esther Fintz Menasce.

From Google Groups September 2021:

From Jewish Gen Groups, September 2021: The Jews of Rhodes: Between Ottomans and Italians

contact@sephardicgenealogy.comSep 15   #661993   A Jewish community had lived in Rhodes and Kos since Antiquity. In 1912 Italy captured these Aegean islands from an Ottoman Empire in decline. Planning an ambitious future 'Roman' empire in the Mediterranean, the Italian state invested into rebuilding and growing the Jewish community. Some resident Jews eventually acquired Italian citizenship. But the rise of Mussolini’s Fascist dictatorship also meant a complex and difficult relationship between the Italian state and the Jewish community. This talk discusses the history of Jews in the islands during this period, the different archival sources available for researching it, and some of the meanings of this history for contemporary debates about nationality and belonging. Our speaker this week, Valerie McGuire, is a Lecturer of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of St Andrews (Scotland).

The meeting is on Sunday 19 September 2021 at 11am in LA, 2pm NYC, 7pm London, 8pm Paris/Amsterdam and 9pm Jerusalem. Patrons can join us on Zoom. Everyone is invited to join us for free at: Please subscribe to the YouTube channel. It helps us a lot and reminds you when we are going live!

Shana Tova, Boas Entradas, Many Years!

David Mendoza and Ton Tielen of Sephardic World continue to offer the talk by Valerie McGuire on YouTube at no cost. Sourced October 16, 2022. Highly recommended.

In July 2022 Simon and Schuster published a book by Michael Frank titled One Hundred Days, featuring the life of Stella Levi. She was a Holocaust survivor from Rhodes. She was also a contributor to . Stella spent 100 Saturday afternoons in conversation with Michael Frank recalling her memories of life on Rhodes, the Holocaust, and her life afterwards. Stella had also written a book about Rhodes called "I Remember Rhodes". That book was published in 1987. In November 2022 Stella and Michael participated in a live event in New York. This has been recorded and is available on U Tube. Search Parameters: To watch a recording of the event, which was presented in partnership with B’nai Jeshurun, the Jewish Book Council, Natan and the ASF Institute of Jewish Experience.

The web site offers a bibliography of sources of historical nature for Rhodes:
Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved; Rhodes Jewish Museums
A. Galanté, Histoire des Juifs de Rhodes, Chio, Cos etc. (1935; appendix 1948); R. Pacifici, in: RMI, 8 (1938), 60–77; S. Marcus, Toledot ha-Rabbanim le-Mishpaḥat Yisrael me-Rodos (1935); idem, in: Sefunot, 1 (1956), 279–302; idem, in: Oẓar Yehudei Sefarad, 2 (1959), 55–68; Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19114), 456, 534; Juster, Juifs (1914), 189; B.E.A. Rottiers, Inscriptions et Monuments de Rhodes (1830); Baron, Social, 3 (1957), 16, 235; J. Starr, Romania (1949), 85–93; M. Ishon, in: Gesher, 11 (1965), 51–57; M.D. Angel, The Jews of Rhodes, The History of a Sephardic Community (1978). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Rivlin, "Rhodes," in Pinkas ha-Kehillot Yavan (1999), 392–407; Y. Kerem, "The Migration of Rhodian Jews to Africa and the Americas from 1900–1914: The Beginning of New Sephardic Diasporic Communities," in: Patterns of Migration, 1850–1914 (1996), 321–34; idem, "The Settlement of Rhodian and Other Sephardic Jews in Montgomery and Atlanta in the Twentieth Century," in: American Jewish History 85, 4 (Dec. 1997), 373–91.

This site offers a comprehensive description of the work of Rabbi Isodor Kahan on teaching on the island of Rhodes in the 1930's