Issue 119 of Genealo-J is published #general

Georges Graner

Genealo-J, publication of the Jewish Genealogical Society of France,
Issue 119, Fall 2014 has just been published

Bernard Lyon-Caen begins a series of study of several interconnected Jewish
families famous in the fields of furniture, advertisement and radio namely
Chouchan, Levitan, Bleustein and others. The first paper deals with the Chouchan
family. This surname is supposed to come >from the Hebrew word Shoushan, the rose,
and has many orthographic variants >from Szuszan in Poland to Bensoussan in North
Africa. The present Chouchan family originates >from Grodno, on the Niemen river in
Lithuania, and successively in Poland, USSR and Byelorussia. Most of them left
Grodno for France between 1890 and 1914 and almost all of them became furniture
dealers : their shops were often competing in the same streets ! Some of these
firms, such as Galerie Barbes, have reached an international fame.

Pascal Faustini, who is a known specialist of Lorraine and Metz, focuses this time
on Morocco and the family Harrosch, Harroch, Haroche. Genealogical research in
Morocco is difficult since official records are only available since 1912. The name
Harrosch derives >from the Hebrew ha-rosh (the head) and is found in the 15th
century in Spain and later many times in cemeteries and documents in several
Moroccan cities. A whole lineage of rabbis can be followed first to a R. Joseph ben
Isaac Harrosch born ca. 1690. He is also the ancestor of my friend Serge Harroche,
who obtained the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012 and whose genealogy was totally
unknown. The family tradition tells that the Harrosch came >from Spain. Faustini
found a very famous scholar Ascher ben Jehiel, born in Germany around 1250 who
travelled to Cologne, Savoy, Provence, Barcelone and finally settled in Toledo
where he died in 1328. He was nicknamed Ha-Rosh and the nickname Aros is found
several times in Spain before the expulsion 0f 1492. Faustini concludes that the
present Harrosch and Haroche families are descendents of Ascher b. Jehiel.

In Anne-Marie Fribourg’s family, a mysterious “Ovar uncle” was mentioned, who was
said to come “>from elsewhere and >from no country”. An article traces Howard
Dieudonne Loria's route (1866-1947). Born in Liverpool, French in Egypt; an orphan
at 16 in Alexandria, he became a graduate of the Ecole Centrale des Arts et
Manufactures of Paris and a plant manager at Orchamps in the French Jura.

Vital recording for Tunisians was established in 1886 only. The resulting registers
have been available at the Center for French Diplomatic Archives in La Courneuve
for a few years.Yet using them was very difficult due to their fragmentation and
the complete lack of decennial charts. 25 members of the CGJ have been working for
18 months to allow survey and research of these vital records. The resulting
database, called Becane, now available on our Website, is a primary tool for the
genealogy of Tunisian Jews. Thierry Samama details this database.

Since its official foundation in 1753 the Jewish community in Luneville (Lorraine)
has been successively made up >from four kinds of migrants; inhabitants >from Metz
and Alsace, inhabitants >from “Alsace-Lorraine” who wished to remain French citizens
after 1871, migrants >from Eastern Europe, and refugees >from Algeria in 1962 – most
of them coming >from the M'zab (north of Sahara). Françoise Job shows that the
melting pot eventually worked : ashkenaz-sefarad marriages took place.

from a diary held by Edgard See between November 1, 1942 and October 12, 1943 - the
day before his arrest and his deportation - Michele Feldman traces back her
grandfather's life in Paris during the war. She also analyzes his family tree and
finds an ancestor Schlomo See born in Bergheim (Alsace) around 1718. Among his
descendents, she quotes Reissel See, an heroine during the French Revolution,
Camille See, a politician who obtained the right for secondary education for girls,
and Leopold See, the first Jew to reach the rank of general in the French Army.

Pierrette Ouazana studies a vital record >from Mascara, Algeria, 1856. It deals with
the wedding of Nessim Darmon with Rebecca bent Ouazana. She explains how is a
record to be read, what information can it bring forward about the family, and how
a careful study of a record can throw light on entangled family links.

On his way >from the Tafilalet,Morocco, to the Holy Land, the revered Rabbi Yaakov
Abehsera passed away in Damanhur, Egypt in 1880. He was the most famous rabbi of
this Moroccan rabbinical dynasty, described by Mathilde Tagger. His works and
descendants are well known. Nevertheless there exist several versions explaining
the origin of his surname Abehsera (man with a mat, mat maker, sitting on a mat)
but only one version points out at Jubar near Damascus, Syria as the origin of the
family. Which is to be trusted ?

As mentioned in this issue of our Journal, the 4 volumes of the Proceedings of the
2012 Paris International Conference on Jewish Genealogy organized by the CGJ are
now available. They can be obtained in English or in French, in colors or in black
& white or downloaded >from the website. See our website for

Georges Graner (Paris-France)

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