An answer to why there was mention of Sephardim and Ashkenazim in Helkat Mehokek #ukraine
Two days ago, together with my colleagues of the Israel Genealogical Society
(IGS) I was very glad to publish here that 8,092 burials in Mount of Olives
Cemetery, Jerusalem, were now searchable online on IGS website. As stated,
the great majority of them date >from the 19th century.
The announcement also said that "1,500 burials were Sephardim and 6,592
I received some personal messages accusing of separating Sephardim >from
Ashkenazim. And here is my answer to all of them.
Because of partition of charity funds between the various communities living
in Eretz Israel and especially in Jerusalem, tweleve (12) burial societies,
divided per community, managed burials in the city. Even the Ashkenazim who
became the majority by the end of the 19th century had several burial
societies. By the way these twelve burial societies of Jerusalem still
This is why, when the author of Helkat Mehokek transcribed the tombstone
inscriptions, he mentioned: Sephardim section, Ashekenazi section.
Moreover, he used to mention in notes when an Ashkenazi was buried in the
This is the historical background of life in Jerusalem till the beginning of
the 20th century.
A fact that all the organizers of the various International Conferences on
Jewish Genealogy should learn >from our Israel Genealogical Society: Till
today, Philadelphia conference included, the only conference that had a
third of its lectures dedicated to Sephardic genealogy was the 2004
Conference held in Jerusalem and organized by IGS. Certainly an example to
Another fact: the Israel Genealogical Society is the first society out of
some 70 worldwide that created a Sephardic SIG in its framework and remained
for many years the only one.
So, PLEASE, do not accuse IGS of separatism!
Sephardim SIG Coordinator
Israel Genealogical Society