19 July 2009

Book: Sephardic Genealogy's new edition

Here's excellent news for Sephardic researchers!

Jeff Malka contacted me some time ago about the upcoming expanded and completely updated second edition of his award-winning book, "Sephardic Genealogy: Discovering Your Sephardic Ancestors and Their World" (Avotaynu).

The 2002 edition received the Association of Jewish Libraries "Best Judaica Reference Book." The original book is the most referenced Sephardic genealogy book in my library, along with Pere Bonnin's "Sangre Judia."

Avotaynu has just announced the new edition and I am happy to inform Tracing the Tribe's readers.

New in this edition:

- Some 100 pages have been added to include new data and updates on Internet and mail addresses.

- A new DNA chapter.

- New chapters on resources for the Sephardic communities of Portugal, England, Rhodes, Hamburg-Altona, and Vienna, Austria.

- A new chapter on how to research Spanish archives.

- Clues on deciphering old Spanish script.

- The Internet section is fully updated and now includes more than 300 links to sites with valuable information for Sephardic researchers. I'm happy to report that Tracing the Tribe is included.

- A more than 3,000-name surname index, bibliography, and appendixes.
With all these additions and improvements, the new book is even more valuable and should be on the wish list for all Sephardic researchers and indeed for all Jewish genealogists. You never know when a family of interest may have Sephardic roots.

The 472-page book costs $45.

I've known Jeff for many years and can attest to his dedication to Sephardic genealogy in all its aspects stemming from what he has learned on his own quest. Indeed, that journey of discovery has also resulted in the frequently updated, remarkably rich resources at his website, SephardicGen.com.

Over the years, we've collaborated and we both work with Maria Jose Surribas, a wonderful researcher in Barcelona, who was responsible for breakthroughs in both our projects. Jeff was also responsible for the creation of SefardSIG, now called SephardicSIG, and KahalLinks on JewishGen. KahalLinks was established after we convinced the website that Sephardic Jews did not live in shtetls - an Eastern European concept foreign to Sephardic communities.

A retired orthopedic surgeon who lives in the greater Washington DC area, multilingual Jeff grew up in Switzerland. His grandfather was the Chief Rabbi of Sudan (1906-1949). Jeff's expertise and dedication comes from researching his own roots. He is always helpful to newcomers stymied by the diverse challenges of Sephardic genealogical research.

Professionally, Jeff was an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery (Georgetown University), and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery chair (Inova Fairfax Hospital, Virginia).

Jeff also speaks at conferences, societies and the Library of Congress on Sephardic family names and their evolution through history and other topics.

View the complete, detailed table of contents here.

Here are highlights:

PART I A LITTLE HISTORY
Who Are the Sephardim?; Brief History of the Jews of Spain and Portugal; Spanish Diaspora; Andalusian-Moroccan Jewish Universe; Jews Under Islamic Rule; Jews in The Netherlands; Amazon Journey; Sephardic Languages; Sephardic surnames in Iberian Research.

PART II GENEALOGY BASICS
How to Get Started; Sephardic Genealogy; DNA and Genealogy; Organizing and Documenting Records; Computers and the Internet; Genealogy Software; Periodicals.

PART III COUNTRY RESOURCES
Resources include history, archives, additional reading, country-specific information and much more: Algeria, Austria, Balkans, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Caribbean (CuraƧao, St. Eustatia, St. Maarten, Jamaica, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and Nevis), Egypt, England, Germany (Hamburg/Altona and elsewhere), Iran (Persia), Iraq, Israel, Italy, Morocco, The Netherlands, Portugal, Rhodes, Salonica, South America (Argentina, Brazil, etc.), Spain, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the Ottoman Empire.

PART IV INTERNET
Sephardic Websites; Sephardic Family Pages; Jewish Genealogy Websites- General; Jewish Genealogy Blogs [Tracing the Tribe is here]; Internet resources (Anusim/Crypto-Jews, Balkans and Greece, Caribbean, Egypt, France, Hamburg, Iraq and Syria, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, North Africa, Portugal, South America, Turkey, US, Gazetteers, People Search).

APPENDIXES
Etymology of Selected Sephardic Names; Sephardic Cursive Alphabet; Arabic Alphabet; Sephardic Documents (CAHJP); Sephardic Registers and Record Books (JNUL); Genealogy Forms; Jewish Names in Printed Sources; Moslem Calendar; Ottoman Records in Israel; Inquisition Tribunals in Spain; Tombstone Inscriptions from Small Egyptian Towns; Surnames & Synagogue Affiliations - 16th-Century Salonica; Example: Malka in pre-Expulsion Northern Spain; Glossary; Bibliography; Surname Index; Index

If you (or someone you know) have Sephardic ancestry, this book will definitely assist in your quest as a valuable, oft-consulted volume in your personal library.

Avotaynu will be exhibiting at Philly 2009 - the 29th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. Although Avotaynu offers free shipping in the US on orders of $50 or more, international shipping incurs a significant charge. If you're coming from outside the US to attend the Philly 2009 conference, and wish to purchase "Sephardic Genealogy," send an email to Avotaynu. Let them know to bring a copy for you to pick up.

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