An Index to the 7 Volumes of
"Histoire des Israelites de Salonique"
by Joseph Nehama. Published between 1935 and 1978.
Annotated Index Developed by Mathilde Tagger of Jerusalem
The first 5 volumes of the monumental work "Histoire des Israelites de Salonique" by Joseph Nehama (1880-1971) were published between 1935 and 1939. They cover the period from the beginning of the Romaniote settlement in Salonika through the Sabbatean outbreak (1669). The Manuscripts of the sixth and seventh volumes were ready in 1940, but were not yet proofread or revised.
Because of the war, the author had to stop his writing. On the eve of the Nazi occupation of Salonika, Joseph Nehama fled to Athens but, unfortunately, was caught there in 1944 and sent to the death camp of Bergen-Belsen.
Nehama survived the horror. After the extermination of more than 90% of the Ladino speaking community of Salonika, he had a unique concern: to publish a full dictionary of the Judeo-Spanish language. He succeeded. The dictionary was published in 1968. In the meantime, he continued to work on his historical manuscripts, completing and revising them.
Joseph Nehama died in 1971. His family gave the authorization to publish the manuscripts of the 6th and 7th volumes to the Jewish Community of Salonika. They were published in 1978 in one book.
Joseph Nehama studied at the Ecole Normale Orientale, the teacher training school, of the Alliance Israélite Universelle in Paris. He was the headmaster of the AIU School in Salonika and later on became the General Inspector of the Middle East AIU schools. Till his last day he was a member of the AIU Central Committee.
These seven volumes include massive information on the Salonika Jews, on their history, literature, life, culture and folklore including hundreds of names of the outstanding among them: Rabbis, community leaders, commerce and industry dealers etc.
Because of its comprehensiveness and the information it contains, the book became a rich source for genealogical research for Jews having their roots in Salonika. Nevertheless, an important tool was missing- a general name index.
The index is now ready. In order to give it more value, biographical notes have been added based on details found in the original text. The surnames are written as they were in the French text, while the notes are in English. Titles of the Hebrew books are now transliterated in English, whereas in the original they were transliterated into French. A major concern in preparing this special index was to include, when available, the filiation on one, two and sometimes three generations in the surnames.
I would like to thank M. Mario Modiano from Greece who first gave me the idea and to the Jewish Community Committee of Salonika who allowed me prepare the index and to post it on the Internet for all to use.
--Mathilde Tagger, February 2002
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