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Jewish Surnames in Lebanon
Index compiled by Mathilde Tagger

   Lebanon is a small country located close to the north-eastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by Syria on the north and east and Israel in the south. Lebanon was for four centuries part of the Ottoman Empire (until the end of WW 1), after which it became a French mandate along with Syria. In 1926 France created the Lebanese Republic but still under French rule. Lebanon became an independent state in 1943. The country knew internal problems between the three elements of its populations: Druzes, Muslims and Christians.
  Jews lived in small communities in Beirut, Sidon, Tripoli and some small villages in the mountainous region of the Shoof such as Deir al Kamar.
  At its height the Jewish population of Lebanon counted 5,000 souls. After WWII Jews left the country because of the state-of-war with Israel. Analyzing the origins of the surnames, one finds many names also recorded in Aleppo and Damascus in Syria, in Iraq, in Turkey, and in ,Greece and Ashkenazi surnames for those who, on their way from Eastern Europe to Eretz Israel, stopped and settled in Lebanon.
  The list of 318 surnames brought here that is based on the following sources:

1. The 1839 Montefiore census of the Jews who lived in Sidon included in the census of Eretz Israel Jewish population
2. The 1849 Montefiore census of Eretz Israel Jewish population includes the census of Beirut, but only a part was available
3. Names found in Lebanon Ketubot taken from the National Library of Israel Ketubot website at:
4. Names researched by genealogists as listed in the Family Finder for Beirut, Sidon and Tripoli
5. Names of contributors to Alliance Israelite School in Beirut and of some pupils (AIU Microfilmed Archives kept at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem)
6. Several additions from an unpublished manuscript on Lebanon Jews written by Nagi Girgi Zeidan (2008)
7. Names of Lebanese Jews deported from France to concentration camps during WW2, based on Serge Klarsfeld. Memorial de la deportation des Juifs de France. Paris, 1978.
8. Lebanon rabbis as listed in "Lebanese Jews" at:
9. Names cited in Nathan Shorr's article: On the Jews of Lebanon during the Ottoman period as seen in the travelers' literature. Peamim, 1984, 24: 117-197 (in Hebrew)

  The list includes the sources where the name was found and several notes mainly pointing out various spellings of a same name, an Ashkenazi name etc.
  For a Hebrew source, the spelling is transliterated from the Hebrew but when the source is French the SH becomes CH and the u became ou.

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© Jeffrey Malka, 2007
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