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Jeff Malka's

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Morocco was in the first half of the 20th century home to 250,000 Sephardic Jews. Yet genealogic researchers seeking Jewish records face significant difficulties. Government records in Morocco were, until very recently, not as elaborate as in European countries (not to say non-existent). In fact, until well into the 20th century, the rulers of Morocco (including the French) did not even control all of the country. The half or so of the country they controlled was called the bled el makhzen (land of the treasury) because that was the area the king could tax. The other part of the country (bled el siba) was under the control of local chieftains. These local conditions meant that until recently there were no such things as government birth or death registrations, or census records .

Archival Resources

- The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) .

Hebrew University Campus, Sprinzak Bldg, Givat Ram. P.O.Box 1149, Jerusalem 91010, Israel. Tel./Fax: (972)-2-5635716
'Pinkassim' and documents, inter alia from Casablanca, Fes, Meknes, Mogador and Sefrou (1710-1963)

- Archives diplomatiques de Nantes ,17 rue du Casterneau, 44000, Nantes, France .

Contains the French civil records of Morocco, including those of the city of Casablanca from 1925-56.

- Alliance Israelite Universelle Archives , 45 Rue la Bruyere, 75009, Paris

In the 19th century the AIU set up schools in many locations in Morocco. Their archives in Paris are a largely untouched resource that certainly contains much information of value to the genealogist.

- Cemeteries (see below)

- University of Alberta Library .

The Bension Collection of Sephardic Manuscripts at Alberta University Library, Canada. Housed in the Special Collections Section of the library, this collection of manuscripts is of interest to the genealogist because of the large number of letters it contains between various Moroccan rabbis about numerous individuals. These include R. Jacob ibn Zur (Abensour), R. Jacob ben Malka, R. Serrero, R. Abitbol, and numerous others.
Aranov provides an excellent detailed description of the manuscripts in his book "A Descriptive Catalogue of the Bension Collection of Manuscripts", U of Alberta Press, 1979.

Internet resources

Articles of interest

- How to get started in Sephardic Jewish Genealogy for the beginner
- The Sephardim - Who are they and their history.
- Jews and Christians in the Moslem World
- Maps Spain
- Some differences in Sephardic and Ashkenazi genealogy
- Jewish Names and genealogies
- Interesting Population figures
- Portuguese Jewish Community of Tunis - genealogies
- Moroccan Jews in the Amazon
- Inquisicion and early Hispanic Archives
- Cercle de Genealogie - North Africa
- Index of Maghrebian surnames
- Jewish Moroccan Heritage
- La decouverte des juifs berberes   par Daniel J. Schroeter
- General Jewish Genealogy Resources
- The Serfaty family of Spain and Fez
- Maimon (Maimonides) and other families (archived)
- Gabbai family
- Shaltiel Family Worldwide (archived website)
- Malka-Gelfand Family Page
- Benveniste homepage (archived website)
- Cohen-Hadria family tree
- Toledano family
- Aboaf family
- BBC: Morocco's Jews (Audio)

Databases (See here for latest available databases )

- Jews from Morocco Deported from France in WWII
- Raphael and Georgette Cohen Collection of Family Trees from Meknes (22,000+)
- Index of Ben Naim. Malkhei Rabbanan [Rabbis of Morocco]
- Mogador (Essaouira) Illuminated Ketubot (1789-2003) - Index of Knafo and Bensoussan's book
- Essaouira Cemetery   (Link off-site)
Searchable database of names
- Essaouira - Mogador Cemeteries   (Link off-site)
Searchable database of names and other identifying information from the cemeteries of Essaouira (Mogador), Morocco.
- Tangier Beit Hahayim Cemetery   (Link off-site)
Searchable database of names with parents, etc.
- La Voix des Communaut├ęs [French]   (Link off-site)
historical Jewish newspaper in Morocco

Other webpages

- Melca's site for Mogador - site site-map of this extensive website
- Essaouira - Mogador Cemeteries - Searchable database
- Moshe David Gaon: Oriental Jews in Erets Yisrael
Mathilde Tagger's Index of 2,882 Sephardic Rabbis, Scholars and Notables.
In Spain, Provence, Italy, Ottoman Empire, incl. Balkans, Middle East and North Africa.
- Musee du Judaism Marocain: Fondation du Patrimoine Culturel Judeo Marocain - Contains registers of departed Moroccan communities
- 1000 Maghrebians (book by Abraham Elharar) - Searchable database
- Jewish cemetery of Tetuan
- Jewish Morocco Rick Gold's excellent page
- D'fina: Jewish Treasures of Southern Morocco
- CCJM - Museum of Jewish Moroccan Art
- Essaouira / Mogador Cemetery list (archived page)
- Between Lisbon and Marakesh - The 'Inhabitants' versus 'Expelled' Controversy
- Brief Social History of the Jews in Morocco by Marc Eliany
- The Names of Moroccan Jews
- Muwaḥidūn: A Study of the Almohads and the Moroccan Jews Under Their Domain
- Vanessa Paloma Blog (Andalusian Music)
- Darnna (Moroccan Jewish communities)
- Moroccan guards tzadik's tomb Hananiyah Elfassie
- Dafina Le Net des Juifs du Maroc
- The Sephardic-Moroccan Page
- The Fez Jewish cemetery and burial practices among Moroccan Jews
- Jewish Moroccan Video Archive at YouTube by Marc Eliany
- Life in Tetuan
- Voces de Haquetia
- Haketia
- Haketia (Wikipedia)


By far the most useful books for the genealogist researching Morocco are

- Laredo, Abraham : Les Noms des Juifs du Maroc. Institut Montano, Madrid, 1978.

Although out of print, this book is essential to consult for any Sephardic research. It contains a huge listing of family names, their origins and meanings and notable persons who carried these names with documented sources for further research. Invaluable.
A listing of names compiled by Abensur can be found on the ETSI website
See also SephardicGen's searchable Consolidated Index of Sephardic Surnames

- Abecassis, Jose Maria: Genealogia Hebraica. Portugal e Gibraltar. Lisboa 1990 (in Portuguese)
5 Volumes (4 vols at the Lib of Congress) of documented family trees (XVII to XX centuries)
A listing of names compiled by me can be found in the "Names" section of this website

- Toledano, Joseph: La Saga des Familles. Stavit, Tel Aviv 1983.
Much smaller but similar to Laredo's book. Does not indicate sources but has old photos of family members. There is now a new much expanded edition available.
A listing of names compiled by me can be found in the "Names" section of this website

- Bensoussan, David: Il etait une fois Le Maroc Les Editions du Lys ; iUniverse, 2012.
Excellent historical review of the Jewish history of Morocco.

- Lopez Alvarez, Ana Maria: La Comunidad Judia de tetuan, 1881-1940: onomastica y sociologia en el libro de registro de circuncisiones del rabino Yishaq Bar Vid Al Haserfaty Museo Sefardi ; Madrid 2003.

However there are many others that are of interest to a researcher of Moroccan Jewry. For a more complete list go to my "Book" section .

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