Family Trees, Family Stories & Family Photos:

“Rhodes Revisited”  by Sonja Bilé

“We had some family living on Rhodes…”  This sentence proved to be the key that opened a sesame of lost genealogical information when I discovered a document in my parental home some 8 years ago.  It was issued in 1919 by the Spanish embassy to Belgium stating my paternal grandfather was a descendant of the Jews of Spain.  All I had ever known was that he had come from Turkey, spoke French and was a Jew, which did not make much sense to me as a child.  Years went by, our parents had died and there I was at the age of 54, totally ignorant of my Jewish roots and heritage.  This was caused by the trauma my father and my 2 aunts suffered after WWII.  They had lost their uncle in the Shoah and only escaped by miracle themselves from the Nazi horror, my grandfather having died a natural death 13 years before the war and my grandmother being Belgian and non-Jewish.

Neither my cousins nor I had ever been told we descended from Sephardim and when I started to browse the Internet, more questions than answers arose.  My surname BILI (BILE) did not pop up in any database and I concluded I would never succeed in knowing more about my ancestors… Until I decided to send an e-mail to Dr Jef Malka, webmaster of a very comprehensive website.  And I specifically mentioned the isle of Rhodes… My surname did not appear in his database either, but he forwarded my mail to a friend of his who also has connections with Rhodes.  Half an hour later I got a message from Leon Taranto saying “Dear cousin Sonja …”.  His great-grandmother and mine had been sisters.

Leon provided me with the maternal Béresi family tree of our great-grandmothers and referred me to Dov Cohen in Israel for further info on the paternal Bili line.  Very soon I had my family tree back in Izmir, Turkey, to 1750.  It revealed the 2 “Belgian” Bili brothers also had had 4 sisters of whom 2 emigrated to the US, one to South-America and one to Rhodes.  Searching the Belgian Archives and tracing my US cousins was the most obvious step to follow and very quickly the picture of our common family history broadened.

Soon after my great-grandfather had died in Izmir, the boys and one girl emigrated.  The widowed mother and the 3 remaining girls left for Rhodes around the turn of the 20th century.

The story of the emigration of one of them, the Franco-Bili family is a very particular one.  As many families did at the time, the father and the oldest son left first to seek a job and earn some money in order to pay for the rest of the family to join them in their new country later on.  After a few years the second son Eli also left, leaving Rosa with the 3 girls in Rhodes.  The eldest girl Juana was about 17-18 when her mother Rosa and aunt Caden had plans to match her to one of the boys of Caden’s husband’s earlier marriage.  Juana, however, had a rather stubborn character and did not at all approve those plans, because she had her eyes set on another boy who was to leave for the US too.  Juana took a rather decisive action that would change the plans and timing for the whole family.  She went to the bank to sell her mother’s house.  By a lucky coincidence there was a certain Mr Menasce who was looking for a house.  The banker agreed and Juana wasted no time to buy tickets for the crossing to the US for the whole family, as the departure of the ship was imminent.  Coming back home she simply told everyone to pack.  Mother Rosa had no other choice than leaving somewhat earlier than expected to join her husband and sons in the US.  Juana married the boy of her dreams in Atlanta and lived happily ever after.  She died at the age of 93 and her children and grandchildren still proudly remember her as a real matriarch of their family.

Another Rhodes connection of my family had started one generation up.  My great-grandfather’s sister, Rivca Bili was the only one of 6 siblings not born in Izmir. She was born in Rhodes and seems to have lived there all her life.  She married Isaac Levi, had 2 children, Rocha and Ruben Levi.

So far the information I had gathered during the first 4 years.  I was able to trace nearly all my American cousins, but I did not succeed in finding any lead to trace Alberto and Selma Levi, my great-aunt Caden’s children.

It was time to visit Rhodes myself…!  Full of expectations my husband and I visited the wonderful old city with the Jewish quarter quietly situated in the eastern corner.  From the Rhodes censuses I had found some of the old addresses where my family had lived.  Also the ‘Juderia’ section on the Museum’s website showed some useful information.

A very particular story told to me by the granddaughter of my great-aunt Rosa Bili-Franco caught my attention.  She remembered well her grandmother telling her about the house they had lived in for about 20 years before emigrating to the US.  She described the narrow street where all the houses had single doors whereas theirs was the only one having a double door with particular round door handles.  Armed with my cousin’s information about the location of the street I was eager to discover the original house with the double doors.  To my surprise I did.  It is located in the “Calle de los Ricos” (Gavala Street) very near the small triangular square at the beginning of the street.  The double doors are still there, painted in ochre yellow.  The door handles have changed, but the imprint of the original round ones is still clearly visible through the paint.  What an amazing feeling, standing before the door of my great-aunt’s house, 100 years after she had lived there with her family.  It was not difficult at all to imagine a picture of the kids playing around on the little square.  The whole atmosphere of the narrow streets, very tranquil and nearly unchanged over the years, is an experience never to forget.

Rosa's house 4  Rosa's house 3Rosa's house 5








Having checked the census records again for the address of my other great-aunt, Caden Bili and husband Giacobbe Levi, I went to see “Calle de Kahal Grande”, now Thisseos Street.  My great-grandmother Mazaltov Bili-Béresi had lived with them for about 35 years and finally died there at the age of 80.  They lived at number 18 nearly across the remains of the great Synagogue.  The street is still there but unfortunately a small row of houses has been destroyed, number 18 being one of them.  Starting from the last existing row house, I tried to figure out where the original house must have stood.  I ended up on the spot where today grows a very big nice tree, the only one in the whole street.  Under the blue sky of this very quiet and warm April afternoon I was moved by the thought of being on the very spot where my great-grandmother had lived half of her life and finally died.  It gave me a good feeling that the only tree is growing exactly there and I touched it as though I would have touched the house that had stood in its place so many years before.

The next goal of my journey was to try to get some civil records from the Town Hall of Rhodes.  Although I was warned it would not be easy to convince the Greek civil servants to search their files, I succeeded in getting the death certificate for my great-grandmother, as well as the marriage certificate for Alberto Levi.  This document proved to be of utmost importance in my further search for their descendants since I now knew the exact name of his wife, Stella Bega, as well as the date and details of their marriage.

Back home I decided to put a comment on the website of the Rhodes Jewish Museum, mentioning their names together to ask if anyone would have some information on their whereabouts after they left for Argentina.  For the second time in my research I was extremely lucky.  Only the next day I received an e-mail from the grandson of Alberto, now living in Costa Rica.  His son has to do an ancestry school project and as they nearly have no information on his great-grandparents Alberto and Stella Levi-Bega, apart from their names and their origin from Rhodes, they decided to just ‘Google’ both names and see what would come up.  The first hit on their screen was my note, only put some hours before on the museum’s website.  Bingo..!  We have been in touch ever since.

I learned that some of the Soriano branch of my family moved to Brazil.  I have tried to contact them, yet without much success so far.  Anyhow, you won’t hear me complain at all.  My trip to Rhodes was very successful, wonderful, and emotional.  Apart from enjoying the magnificent scenery, the tranquillity and authenticity of the old Jewish quarter, the Square and its little side streets, I have appreciated the wonderful Jewish Museum and the Synagogue and the help and support from Mr Aron Hasson and the staff at the Jewish Community’s Office, adjacent to the Synagogue.

I would strongly recommend anyone with ancestors in Rhodes to go to and enjoy this wonderful place.

The above was added May 4th, 2012, of a 1922 photo of Caden Bili, Yacov Levy and child: Alberto Levy.  The following is the story sent with the photo:  “I am trying to trace my Rhodesli cousins and/or their descendants: Alberto Levi, married to Stella Bega and his sister Selma Levi. Their parents were Giacobbe Levi and Caden Bili (Billis). Alberto was born in 1913, married 11 Oct 1935 to Stella Bega. They left Rhodes immediately after the wedding and arrived in Buenos Ayres on 4th Nov 1935. Alberto’s sister Selma Levi was born in 1925 and left at the age of 14 also for Buenos Ayres in 1939. Their parents stayed in Rhodes with their grandmother Mazaltov Berescit, married Bili. Mazaltov was my great-grandmother. She died in 1940 aged 8O. Caden & Giacobbe Levi-Bili were my great-aunt and great-uncle. They were amongst the victims of the Nazi horror and died in Auschwitz in 1944.  I have the Bili family tree going back until 1750 in Izmir, Turkey.  I would be very grateful for any clue that can help me find them, or in case any of my cousins would read this message, please contact me.   Many thanks,
Sonja Vansteenkiste-Bilé, Belgium

Family “Photo Trees”:




The following photo is from Laura Larsen:  “This photo was taken in Rhodes of Joseph Benatar (1895-1944) and Ester Tarica (1897-1944).  They were killed in Auschwitz along with their only child, Baruh (1925-1944).  You can put it on the website if you want to.”





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50 Responses to “Family Trees, Family Stories & Family Photos:”

  1. July 24th, 2016

    Amber Hasson:

    (from the “Family Trees, Family Stories” page of “Genealogy”): Hello, My name is Amber Hasson and my family tree starts at 1840 and I’m trying to find out any information prior to that time. The information I have is as followed:

    Sadik Hasson 1840-1904. Marriage about 1862, he married Caden Levi (Levy) 1845-1929;
    they had 2 children (that I know of) Esther Hasson 1865-1941 and Abraham Hasson 1865-unknown, and

    Samuel Fis DOB 1825. Marriage about 1850, he married Clara Alcana DOB 1830; they had 2 children (that I know of) Bohor Fis DOB 1850 and Mary (Miriam) Fis DOB 1855, and

    Oru Hugnu DOB 1830. Her sons name is Abramo (Abraham) Hasson DOB 1850.

    If anyone has any information about these people parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. I would love to have that information. Please feel free to email me at Thank you for your help and time and effort. ~Amber Hasson

  2. July 2nd, 2016

    Vitor Levi:

    Sim. Obrigado!

  3. July 1st, 2016


    Hi Vitor. I located a family registration from Rhodes which indicates that Jeuda Levi and Bulissa Turiel had a son, Bension and a daughter, Estrea. If this is your family let me know and I will email the document to you. (The document also indicates that Bulissa was born in 1852 and that her parents were: Moshe Turiel and Estrea Cohen.) Also there was another person who added a comment named Cristina who may be related to you?

  4. June 30th, 2016

    Vitor Levi:

    (from “Family Trees” page of “Genealogy”): olá! Sou brasileiro e gostaria de encontrar mais dados da minha familia. Procuro por dados de Bension Levi, irmão de Estreia Levi, filho de Bulisa Levi e sobrinho de Joseph Turiel.

  5. March 30th, 2016

    Stanley D. Altaras:

    My Grandfather was Rabbi Sabetai Israel who met his wife while studying in Rhodos and her name Caden Alhadeff. They moved to Seattle and he was attributed to being the first ordained Sephardi Rabbi there. I would like to be in contact as I believe perhaps my family is related and I am interested in further communications. Thank you.
    Stanley David Altaras

  6. February 23rd, 2016

    Joseph Elkana:

    My family is the Alcana family. My grandfather escaped from Rhodes to Turkey. Miru Alcana was the only survivor of the Holocaust. I was told by my father, I have far cousin relations with the Hasson, Soriano, and Israel family. The Elkana/Alcana family line currently resides in Florida, USA and Israel.

    Alcana: Italian Elkana: English.

  7. September 28th, 2015

    Donald kronfeld:

    My recently departed wife Rochelle Kronfeld’s maiden name was Halfon–family background was from Rhodes. We spent a week there where she was able to see pictures of her family. The family names were on the museum wall. The family seemed to own one the three windmills. Entire Halfon family were killed by the Germans. There are a host of cousins here in the South Florida area.

  8. August 18th, 2015

    Ariella Levy:

    Yehoshua Kehati: I am not sure if you will see this, but I will give it a try. Please tell your wife that Chilebi Nissim Codron is my great great great grandfather. I am a Codron! Thank you.

  9. July 15th, 2015

    Victor Hasson:

    My father was Moshe Hasson and his Brother was Abraham Hasson – both emigrated to Rhodesia way way back from Rhodos. Apparently my grandfather was wine maker in Rhodos. They has a sister, my aunt, who I think was Emily but I am not sure, she and her family perished in the Nazi camps during the war.
    Does anyone have any information for me about my family. I was born in South Africa and now live in Mozambique. I am also trying to locate and contact an artist called Gustave Alhadeff who I believe is in the USA – anyone ? Thank you and regards,

  10. November 21st, 2014

    Sandra Levy:

    Hello I’m Sandra Levy. My grandfather was David Levy, he was born around 1863 and lived in Rhodes before emigrating to Chile. His parents were Isaac and Rachel Levy. He had several siblings who stayed in Rhodes. I’m trying to find David Levy’s relatives. I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. If you happen to have information, please contact me:

  11. October 26th, 2014

    Lori (Huniu) Escalera:

    Hi everyone, I am starting do research again after a 12 year hiatus! I figured I’d better get the names and stories to the photos before entirely forgetting! I see there is much more available now online. I am still looking for the boy on the left and what I am told is his sister (middle top center) my families are Huniu, Levy, Hasson, Pelisoff. I was told they might be Pelisoff’s but I don’t know.
    To Aron: i just did a search for the photo and came back to your website. I see there have been names posted to the photo Gabriel and Luna Pelisoff! Oh my gosh is that confirmed? My Grandfather (right) must have liked her very much because I received her name as my Hebrew name! Wow….full circle.
    I am trying to find the story about my Great Grandparents Marion (Hasson) and Behor Michael Levy who left Rhodes and move to Portland. Behor came around 1910 and his wife, mother and children about 10 years later.
    I am also working on my Huniu side who also migrated over from Rhodes beginning 1909 and settled in Seattle. Michael’s daughter – Behora Levy married Asher Huniu in Seattle in 1922 and moved to Los Angeles. Any additional info on Gabriel and Luna Pilosoff would be appreciated!
    P.S. the photo is dated 1911 however Asher arrived to the USA June 1910. I believe the photo is 1909 to 1910. (Gabriel Huniu is missing and he arrived USA in 1909 so I’d figure 1910 is a safe bet.
    regards to everyone, Lori my email if anyone wants to write is I put some photos up on Facebook which has been really fun. Its easy to communicate and meet other Sephardics who connect with the photos. Feel free to friend me!

  12. December 10th, 2013

    Jack Surmani:

    Hello. My father Eliezer Surmani a former resident of Rhodes passed away just a year and half ago. His sister and my aunt Stella (Surmani) Benveniste is still living. My brother Andrew and father traveled to Rhodes in 2003. There is a Yad Vashem testimony about their sister Mari Surmani dying in Auschwitz as witnessed by a cousin Mirium Lu who was living in Jerusalem in 1956. I have written to the Department of the Interior. With Victor Alkana’s help I have been trying to ascertain which branch of the family Mirium was on, her family name and whether she has any living descendants. Some information is on ancestry including the Ruso’s, Hassons and Capeluto’s. I have posted some family photos from all the branches on my website.

    Thank your for any help.
    Jack Surmani

  13. November 3rd, 2013

    tom klein:

    to Pablo: JUNIO is almost certainly a variant of the same name (which also includes CUNIO, HUNIU, HUNIO, HOUGNOU and HUGNU depending on whether the context was hebrew, turkish, greek, italian, french, or spanish, etc.).

    although i have 3 (other) Rachel HUNIUs on our family tree, i don’t have any Alfreds, yet. and we also have (had) 2 HUNIU relatives in buenos aires: Lucavet (married to David MAYA), and Simeone, and their descendants.

  14. September 9th, 2013


    To Tom and Aliza, my mother´s name is Raquel Junio, I bet it is a variation of Huniu, we have uncles and cousins with that name, in Argentina, Uruguay, and Haifa. We live in Buenos Aires, my grand father was born in Rhodes, he was Alfredo Junio, he died in 1963. If anyone want to write, my email is

  15. August 29th, 2013

    Beth Mayesh:

    I recently started my hunt of the MAYESH family geneology. In particular, I am looking for information on Jacob Mayesh and Viola Gabay Mayesh, who were my great grandparents. As far as I know they were born in or around Izmir in approx 1887 and immigrated to the US in New York City around the turn of the century. Jacob died in his early 30s and Viola died in Los Angeles in 1967.

    I do not know the names of their parents and am looking for that information.

    Assistance with my search is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
    Beth Mayesh

  16. July 18th, 2013

    Victor Alkana:

    To Daniel and anyone else interested in their family trees. I have been putting together the trees of the Rhodeslies and other Sephardic families who had resided in the Ottoman Empire. I now have over 160,000 people in my trees. I have all the families from Rhodes. Please contact me at

  17. May 1st, 2013

    Daniel Sztutwojner:

    Hi everyone! This website is incredible! I was born in Buenos Aires, my grandmother Becky Levy was born in ElizabethVille, in the Congo. Her parents were Isaac Levy & Rachel Capeluto came from Rhodes. Part of my family from Rhodes went to Congo and part to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was wondering if anyone is creating the family tree so we can start matching them. Best, Daniel

  18. April 7th, 2013

    Leon Taranto:

    To Lisa Alhadeff: Thanks for providing the great information. With it, I found your Alhadeff family! Page 567 of the Rhodes Italian census of the Jewish community, mid-1920s to early 1930s, shows your ancestors, including Michael and his parents, and also Naftali and Michael’s other siblings. The birth dates on the census sometimes differ from other data sources. Please note that sometimes the census includes Rhodeslis who have moved away. Thus, even though my father and his parents, and his 10 siblings, had departed Rhodes for the USA by 1912, all are listed in the mid-1920s to early 1930s census.

    Here’s the data for you from page 567:

    Miriam Capelluto (b. 1868 Rodi) fu Giacobbe efu Estrea Hasson, vedova (widow of) Haim Alhadeff; children = Giuseppe b. 1894 Rodi, Rivca b. 1898 Rodi, Isacco b. 1900, Michael b. 1902 Rodi, Naftali b. 1904 Rodi, and Estrea 22 Feb 1908 Rodi.

    Do now we know that your grandmother Michel Alhadeff was the son of Miriam Capelluto (b. 1868) and Haim Alhadeff, and that Miriam was the daughter of Giacobbe (Jacob/Yaacov) Capelluto and Estrea Hasson.

    It’s interesting to me that your grandfather is an Alhadeff, and his mother was Capelluto. For me, it’s the reverse. My mother’s maternal grandmother was Capelluto, and the grandmother’s mother was an Alhadeff.


  19. April 7th, 2013

    Lisa alhadeff:

    To Leon Taranto: Thank for the info regarding my grandmothers history.
    I would love to find out more about my grandfather Michele Alhadeff.

    Michel was born in rhodes in 1909 he had a brother Naphtali. He left Rhodes for the belguim Congo he luckily escaped the holocaust.
    I do not know who his first wife was or where they got married. I know that they had a daughter Myriam Alhadeff and Myriams mother died at child birth.
    Later he married my grandmother Rica. And Rica raised Myriam
    Myriam Alhadeff his daughter last heard she was living in Israel
    Any info would be wonderful

  20. April 7th, 2013

    Leon Taranto:

    To Lisa Alhadeff: i do have a bit of data concerning your grandmother Rica Nahmias, but only for her first marriage, to Haim\Victor Scemaria\Shemaria. From the Italian census of the Rhodes Jewish community, in the mid-1920s to early 1930s: Rhodes 1920s census page 329: Abramo Scemaria (fu Giacobbe efu Dolsa Hasson) b. 1890 Rodi, wed to Lea Benatar (fu Behor efu Rachele Hanan) b. 1890 Rodi, with Scemaria children Haim b. 21 Apr 1909, Giacobbe b. 25 Nov 1911, Giuseppe b. 3 Sep 1915, Dolsa (Dora) b. 26 Aug 1919, Yeuda b. 3 Apr 1922, and Mose b. 5 Apr 1928, all b. Rodi. And for his wife Rica Nahmias, I have this data: odes mid-1920s census p. 510: Miriam Sidis b. 15 Aug 1887 Rodi, daughter of Giacobbe and of Ester Sadis, widow of Reuben Nahmias, with Nahmias children Israaco b. 3 June 1907, Rica b. 11 Oct 1913, and Estrea b. 10 Dec 1915, all b. Rodi. Was Rica’s second marriage to Michel Alhadeff? And do you know anything of the Alhadeff family to which Michel belongs? I too am a descendant of an Alhadeff family from Rhodes.

  21. April 3rd, 2013

    Leon Taranto:

    To Anthony Israel: You wrote your “great-great-grandfather Moshe/Moise (Mosé) Israel was born in 1856, on Rhodes, to Sabettai Israel and Mazaltov Levi. His wife Ester Sulam was born 1870, on Rhodes, to Abramo Sulam and Regina Scemaria\Shemaria.” I have no information on siblings to Mosé, but Ester had a brother Isaac\Isacco b. 1875, and I understand that there was also a brother Reuben.

  22. March 31st, 2013


    In reply to Lisa: I don’t have any information of the Alhadeff family you refer to but I will forward to you the family registrations of the Shemaria & Nahmias families as well as the Holocaust deportee list concerning the Rhodes victims.

  23. March 30th, 2013


    Hi my name is Lisa Alhadeff my grandmother was Rica Nahmias. Rica’s 1st marriage was to Vittorio Shemaria; they had a child Lucia Shemaria born in 1940, and her fate during the holocaust was unknown…I would love to hear from anyone who has any info about my family. My grandfather was Michel/Michelle Alhadeff he escaped Rhodes before the war how I don’t know how but would live to find out his story. Thanks any info would be helpful.

  24. March 7th, 2013

    Shannon Lorraine:

    I am looking for information on David and Lea Behar and their 12 children. My grandmother is Rachel Behar married victor Arugeti. I am wondering if there is record from their travel from Rhodes to Seattle? David behar was the rabbi at Ezra besaroth in Seattle.

    Also looking for a record of a synagogue that was Sephardic that was one of the first NYC Sephardic synagogues. Started by an Arugeti–anyone know anything?

    Also where in NYC can you learn ladino?


  25. November 6th, 2012

    Howie Franco:

    My uncle Dave Israel was their son..his eldest daughter was ester and his youngest son Murray (Moshe). mr soulam Lucy caretakers of the kehillah after the war were niece and nephew of David Israel. He still has daughter Annie 90 years old Rica 87 and Katie 83? alive ..
    His brother jack was killed in wwII on Guadalcanal ..
    Sister Luna..
    Brother Nissim in Africa married to preta 10 plus children in Belgium.

  26. September 28th, 2012

    Anthony Israel:

    I’m trying to draw up my paternal family line. The furthest back I can go is to my great great grandparents Moise (Moshe) Israel and Esther Soulam any information on them would be most appreciated.

  27. July 10th, 2012


    To Tom and Aliza regarding the Huniu family: according to two sources from Rhodes, the parents of Aronne Huniu were Moshe Huniu and Oru Fis. The parents of Sarota Piha were Simon Piha and Rachele BarDavid.

  28. July 9th, 2012

    tom klein:

    to Aliza: our family are also HUNIUs from Rhodes, and there may be a connection, even though some of the details don’t match Do you have any information on Aronne ben Moshe Huniu, his wife Sarota bat Simon Piha, or Yehuda ben Nissim Leon and his wife Jamilla bat Isacco Piha? I have some, fairly scant, information about them.

  29. June 20th, 2012


    Hi Pinchas. There is a record of a Fortune Alaloof. Is that your family? If so, I’ll forward it to you.

  30. June 20th, 2012

    Pinchas Aloof:

    Shalom Uv’racha : Estoy buscando familia que tengan relacion con Yaacov Yehuda y/o Abraham Meir Aloof (Leviim) que salieron de Rhodes hacia Turquia y Salonica y posiblemente a Ucrania. Por causa de las guerras, no sabemos quien queda de esta familia. Ahora somos cinco(5) hermanos y hermanas vivos y nuestro padre fue Yaacov Yehuda Aloof (Levi). Nosotros vivimos en Estados Unidos de America y Israel.Si tienen alguna informacion, por favor escriban al e-mail de Pinchas Aloof. Pueden contactar nos en los siguientes idiomas : castellano, portugues, frances , ingles y hebreo.
    De antemano, gracias por cualquier informacion.

    Pinchas Aloof

  31. June 6th, 2012


    Hi. I’m looking for my roots but I’m feeling like I have reached a dead end. Here are the names I have uncovered. I’m having a lot of trouble tracing back any further. Perhaps someone will be able to offer some information.

    My great grandfather was Morris Honio (I believe a variation of Huniu) from Rhodes. He was born in the 1890’s and he immigrated to the U.S. (through Boston) around 1905, and married my great grandmother, Sarah Hazan, around 1918 in New York.
    All I know about my great grandmother is that she is from Turkey according to some immigration documents (which may have included Rhodes at that time). She was born some time between 1894-1904 (documents are very inconsistent). After immigrating, she lived in NY for the rest of her life. Sarah and Max Honio had approx 8 children: Isidore, Jack, Sophie, Isaac, Sam, Laura, Rachel and Max. Laura was my grandmother.

    By word of mouth, I found out a long time ago that my mother has relatives (i.e. aunts and cousins) who had immigrated to Israel (as opposed to coming to the U.S.) around the turn of the century. At the time, I believe they were residing either in Tel Aviv or Haifa. But it has probably been 40 years since these relatives were last contacted.

    If anyone has any helpful information, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  32. March 7th, 2012

    Marten Benatar:

    Hello. My father’s name is Joseph Benatar. born in 1929. My grandfather Morris Benatar came to the U.S. from Rhodes with his sister Regina Benatar, his mother Mazaltov (Tarica) Benatar and was brought here by my great great Uncle Harry Tarica. I would love to get more information on my family tree. I know that my grandfather Morris Benatar’s father was one of 8 brothers from Izmir Turkey. I think that his name was Joseph Benatar. I don’t know for sure.

    Awesome work and great website!

    Best Regards,
    Marten Benatar

  33. January 25th, 2012

    wulkman (née soriano):

    bonjour. Je m’appelle Corine WULKMAN (née SORIANO) et suis la petite fille de Maurice SORIANO et de Marie SIDIS, nés tous deux à Rhodes.

    Ils ont été avant les années 1930 au Congo (RDC) où mon père David SORIANO est né en 1931.

    Nous sommes du côté de ma grand-mère, les descendants de :
    – Marie SIDIS et de Moïse SORIANO (mes grands-parents)
    – Avraham SIDIS et de Rachel MOSSAFIR (mes arrières grands-parents)
    – Samuel SIDIS et de Beat PEHA(mes arrières arrières grand-parents).

    Mes grands-parents ont eu 2 enfants :
    – un fils (mon père) David SORIANO qui a épousé ma mère Juliette CICUREL. Ils ont eu 3 enfants :
    – moi Corine SORIANO qui a épousé Pascal WULKMAN, nous avons eu 2 garçons :
    – Bruno WULKMAN né le 3 mars 1987
    – Alain WULKMAN né le 10 juin 1990

    – un garçon (mon frère) Jean-Jacques SORIANO qui a épousé Laurence MORET. Ils ont eu 1 fille :
    – Julie SORIANO née 8 juin 1993

    – une fille (ma soeur) Nathalie SORIANO qui est divorcé de Laurent BENKEMOUN. Ils ont :
    – un fils Harry BENKEMOUN né le 20 juillet 1995
    – un fils Tom BENKEMOUN né le 5 octobre 1997
    – une fille Clara BENKEMOUN née le 9 juillet 2002

    Ma soeur s’est remarié avec Franck HOURI en 2011.

    – une fille Judith SORIANO divorcée de ….. MEYERS. Ils ont eu :
    – une fille
    – un fils

    Merci de me donner d’autres renseignements de ma famille.

    Je crois que :
    – la mère de mon grand-père Moïse SORIANO est morte en couche.
    – mon grand-père avait 3 soeurs.
    – la branche familiale de mon grand père est Musani SORIANO avec Mazaltov

  34. July 31st, 2011

    Gady Notrica:

    I want to find my ancestor family. David Notrica (charly) from Rhodes, lived in Zaire (Congo DRC), live and died in South africa.

    Can any one help me?

  35. June 20th, 2011

    Susan E. Hasson:

    Thanks Aron….yes this info is about my family. If anyone has additional information about the
    Bulissa Pilosoff family, I would love to hear from you. My Grandfather was Elihau B. Hasson, Grandmother was Sarota Benveniste Hasson, and my Father was Rafael B. Hasson, only child. Thank you – great information available on this web site for all of us who are decendents from Rhodes.

  36. June 19th, 2011


    Hi Susan. I’ll send you via email a family registration document showing a Bulissa Pilosoff born in 1852. It includes Benvenistes and Scharhons. Let me know if it’s your family.

  37. June 18th, 2011

    Susan E. Hasson:

    Looking for family information for Bulissa Pilosoff, daughter was Sarota Benveniste, married to Bohor Hasson, and they had one son, Rafael in 1920. They lived near the seahorse Fountain. Rafael was my father, an only child, and he was famous for wearing an earring in his right ear. He immigrated to Seattle in 1940. My dad was best friends with Nace Treves and Albertico Almeleh growing up. Any information would be wonderful. Thanks, Susan Hasson, from Seattle.

    Aron, thanks for making this information available to many fellow Rhodeslies. We have a legacy to pass-on, thanks to you.

  38. April 30th, 2011

    brenda grosz:

    Thank you so very much for sharing! My great grandparents came from Rhodes. Sadly they both died before I ever really got a chance to really ask them about living there, who was who and all that other good stuff! I stubled across this site quite accidentally and couldn’t be more pleased!

    Could you help me? I do not recall from which side it was but either my grandma or grandpas father was a tailor…I don’t know the fathers names however it may help you to know my grandmas name, Allegra Morris Hasson, and my grandpa, Isaac Haim Hasson. My grandpa was a tailor when he first came to america. Thanks!:)

  39. April 25th, 2011

    Viviana Codron:

    Hola, soy Viviana Codron, mi padre Moises Codron era hijo de Sarina Berro y Chilibi Codron que nacieron en Rodas.
    El padre de mi abuelo fue EL RABINO DEL TEMPLO DE RODAS MOISES CODRON. Mis abuelos eran nacidos en Rodas y se casaron en Montevideo donde nacieron sus hijos, Moises, Marcos, Rebeca y Ester.
    Pero finalmente vivieron aca en Buenos Aires. Me gustaria saber mas de sus familiares que queradon en Rodas y luego los naziz mataron.

  40. February 28th, 2011


    le ruego me informe cuantos miembros de mi familia, RODITI se encuentran en el cementerio de Rodas y sus nombres ?
    como un homenaje especial
    jose roditti arroba

  41. January 25th, 2011

    salvador hazan:

    Estimado Aron: Mi padre Jako Hazan era hijo de Perahia Hazan y Rica Rosanes y su foto esta entre las fotos de familia del museo.- A su vez mi madre era hija de Clara Codron yo conoci hermanas de ella de nombres Miryam, Esther, Vida y un hermano de nombre Narciso.- Sera posible conocer algo mas de mis antepasados.- Desde ya muchas gracias.-

  42. December 7th, 2010

    Niels Benatar:

    Is there a reliable family tree of the Benatars from Rhodes? Thanks.

  43. November 7th, 2010

    Betty Sue Codron Karp:

    Hi Aron, could you please send me the email address for the Yehoshua Kehati (see above email of 3/2010)as I would like to get in touch with his wife who is also a great grand grandaughter of Chilbi Codron like myself.

    Betty Sue [Codron]

  44. September 17th, 2010

    Pinchas ben Yakov Yehuda Aloof:

    Shalom! Searching for any information of my family that came from Rhodes 17-1800 then moved to Salonica.
    My Grand father’s name was Avraham Meir Aloof. We never changed our name. All Leviem. This was info that came from the late Rabbi Cohen of Rhodes and served as Rav in Atlanta, Georgia whom I knew over forty years ago.
    Shenat Chaim Tovim V’shalom. Pinchas Aloof Houston, TX USA

  45. June 16th, 2010

    Tarica claudia:

    Hello Aron. Je découvre avec émotion une nouvelle photo de mon grand-père Eliakim Tarica , tout jeune, et la photo de mes arrieres grands – parents… Magnifique! Merci, merci, je suis terriblement émue! A bientôt

  46. March 16th, 2010

    Yehoshua Kehati:

    My wife is a Codron. Her great grandfather was Chief Rabbi Chilebi Nissim Codron. Her father was Yaacov Codron; her mother was Mazal-Tov Alaluf. They both were born in Rhodes. Her father had a hotel and restaurant in the Belgian Congo. My side is Ashkenaz; sorry about that { : – ) .

  47. February 8th, 2010

    regine yellinek:

    dear Aron, my grandmother was Rebeca Tarica and my mother Leah Tarica, married nissim lallouche in egypt, my grandfather was avraham tarica, first cousin with my grandmother. i live in Israel since 1950, thank you for all what you do about the history of the jewish of rhodes.

  48. January 27th, 2010

    elliott richard alhadeff:

    we have a very large extended family. i am participating in a genetic study entitled “23&me”. so far to my knowledge no other Alhadeff is so doing. it would be interesting to me if one would do so.

  49. January 6th, 2010


    Hi Laura. Sarina Tarica was married to the brother of my great grandfather Haco (Isaac) Hasson, so we apparently are distantly related. If this is the same family then I have some information of the parents and grandparents of Sarina Tarica and your grandmother. Their parents were Mordocheo Tarica, born in 1864 and Mazaltov Tarica, born in 1873. The parents of Mordocheo Tarica were Guiseppe Tarica and Sarota Amato. The parents of Mazaltov Tarica were Samuel Tarica and Ester Codron.

  50. January 6th, 2010

    Laura Larsen:

    Thank you for posting your family tree, Aron. Sarina Tarica is my grandmother’s sister (Rica Tarica).