Tomorrow - JewishGen Talks: Roots of Jews in Italy - Names and History #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

We invite you to attend a special presentation in our series of JewishGen Talks webinars:
Roots of Jews in Italy - Names and History
Speaker: Dr. Alexandre Beider
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
2:00 pm Eastern Time (New York)
Registration is free with a suggested donation.
About the Talk
Often, the Jews who inhabited during the last centuries the territory of modern Italy are considered Sephardi.  An analysis — based in part on the names used — reveals a very heterogeneous composition of local communities. Alongside the real Sephardim (a group of exiles from Iberian Peninsula who came at the turn of the 16th century, as well as the “ex-Crypto-Jews” who were coming during about 150 years starting with mid-16th century), we find families whose ancestors have never lived on the territory of modern Spain or Portugal: the largest group composed of descendants of Roman Jews who lived in continental Italy since Antiquity, numerous Ashkenazim who migrated from southern Germany to northern Italy during the 13th-16th centuries, Jews expelled from Sicily (1493) and France (1394, 1501), and migrants from North Africa. For many centuries, Italy served as a "hub" for Jewish migrations.
About the Speaker
Alexander Beider was born in Moscow in 1963. He studied mathematics and theoretical physics in Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology from which he received a PhD in applied mathematics (1989). Since 1990, he lives with his family in Paris, France. In 2000, he received his second PhD, this time in the domain of Jewish studies, from Sorbonne. Beider uses onomastics and linguistics as tools allowing to unravel the history of the Jewish people. He has written a series of reference books dealing with the etymology of Jewish surnames, all published by Avotaynu Inc. They include: A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire (1993, 2nd revised edition in 2008), Jewish Surnames in Prague (15th-18th centuries) (1994), A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland (1996), A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia (2004), A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Maghreb, Gibraltar, and Malta (2017), and A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Italy, France and “Portuguese” Communities (2019). His Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names (2001) is the reference study in the domain of traditional Yiddish first names. Origins of Yiddish Dialects (Oxford University Press, 2015) synthesizes scholarship on the subject for the half century since the publication of Max Weinreich's “History of the Yiddish Language” (1973) and, according to certain critics, represents a comprehensive and convincing revision of its esteemed predecessor, no less than a new standard work in the domain. Beider is also the designer of the linguistic part of the Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching method of computer-based searches for equivalent surnames.
Registration is free with a suggested donation.


The old Italian (Roman) Jewish prayer rite is in this siddur.  Not Ashkenazic (but often similar) and not Sephardic.