JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: KOHEN surnames-an anecdote #general


In a message dated 7/25/2006 8:29:32 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< Several years ago I entered my (former) family name KATZOFF in the machines
that give you the origins of family names. The answer it printed out was
that the name was a variant of KATZ, and like other names (which it listed)
refered to a Kohen. It added that one of the prominent KATZOFFs in Israel
is Prof. Ranon KATZOFF of Bar-Ilan Unv.

The next time I visited my brother I told him I knew he was a prominent
Katzoff but I was very angry that he never told me he was a Kohen. He
didn't think the story was funny and he went to the museum to have the
information changed (at that time he told me he was unsuccessful in having
it changed). >>

==KATZOFF is an Ashkenazi spelling of the Hebrew word Katzav (like the
current president of Israel, who is >from Iran). Katzav is not a priest but a
butcher (OK, the Kohanim in the Temple used to slaughter animals for the

==Not every KATZ is a Cohen. Ephraim KATZIR (Heb. for harvester") was an
earlier president of Israel. The KATZENELLENBOGENs (named after a German
village), and their KATZNELSON, relatives are not Kohanim. And KATZIN got
his name as a community official

<< Out of curiosity, could anyone with access to the diaspora Museum in T.A.
tell me if the information as to our family name was actually changed? >>

==I don't have access to it, but it's not hard to get to, >from anywhere in
Israel (the trains >from Jerusalem and >from Beersheba to Haifa and Nahariya
stop practically at the door). Go there and enjoy the models and antiques >from
ancient synagogues and old communities. But don't expect the old genealogical
files [they may have been replaced by now with the jewishgen files--I hope
so] to be too authoritative. I know of one young person who worked on those
files some years back and created a whole load of spurious data to please a
doting grandmother!

Michael Bernet, New York

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