Latvia SIG #Latvia Re: Origin of Latvian Jews #latvia

Alex Shapiro <alex@...>

Dear Jeff,

Many Jews in Latvia, like part of my family, are of Portuguese origin.
Regardless of the fact that Latvia was at one stage under Russian
control, there are many Jews, including Russian Jews, that have Spanish
- Portuguese roots. At one time the basement prayer hall in the Riga
synagogue was allocated for Sephardic and Hasiddic style prayers. If
you're really curious about the background of your family I'd suggest
making the DNA test that will show where your family roots came from.

Shana Tova - have a good and blessed New Year,
Alexander David Shapiro
Member of the Sephardic congregation Torah Va Chessed in Houston

From: Jeff Canin <>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2019 16:29:10 +0200

...I'm trying to determine if my
family in Latvia could have originally come >from Spain or Portugal
after the Jewish populations there were expelled in the 1500s. My
grandfather, Joseph Chanin (Hebrew spelling would be chet nun yud nun)
was born in Varaklani around 1872. The English spelling for his name
could be Hanin, Kanin, Khanin or Canin. Joe always said he was
Sephardic and the family originally came >from Portugal, but I can't
find any evidence that Jews >from Portugal made it to Latvia. His
father was Mendel Chanin and grandfather, born around 1828 was Shmul
Ber (Samuel) Chanin. Are the Latvian Jews generally considered to be

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