Family Tree Resources
Family Documents Available from our Archives.
Since the founding of the Museum in 1997 hundreds of documents for our archives have been collected relating to the Jewish families of Rhodes. Since then, we have received requests from descendants of those families who are interested in obtaining information relating to their family history. Therefore, this page offers people copies of these various documents in order for them to have some rare artifacts to add to their personal genealogy. Some of these documents give a surprising insight of family history, while other documents are simple in nature yet quite interesting.
To obtain copies of these documents please contact the:
Rhodes Jewish Historical Foundation
10850 Wilshire Blvd. #750
Los Angeles, California 90024 USA
The Source of the Alhadeff Family Name: This is described in a book about the History of the Alhadeff Family, called “Le Chêne de Rhodes” by Vittorio Alhadeff. A portion of that book has been translated by Rachel Alhadeff Roditi as follows:
As in all historical research, one must start from a sure and unarguable fact: our family originates from Spain, the country in which it resided for nearly four centuries and which it left in 1492 as a result of the edict of the Catholic kings which condemned all the Jews who refused, to convert to Christianity, to exile. …
They gave the name Alhadeff to our ancestors. Why? Professor Abraham Galante of the University of Constantinople, in his book on the “Jews of Rhodes and Cos,” has established beyond all reasonable doubt, the etymology of our surname, which according to him, comes from the Arabic al-khadif, which means lord, i.e., the Chief. Let us remember that under the British, the King of Egypt bore the name of Al-khadif. The mutation to Alhadeff is explained by the fact, pointed out by the erudite Prof. Galante, that Hebrew is a guttural language that also has no vowels.
Alkadif is pronounced Alhadeff in Hebrew. My father signed in Judeo-Espagnole, in either version.
Some facts must be pointed out. Firstly, the name Alhadeff is borne exclusively by the near or distant members of our family. Today all the Alhadeffs, scattered over the world are, in fact, originally from Rhodes and are, furthermore, to a more or less degree, attached to our family by ties of relationship. We are descended, therefore, ie. all the Alhadeffs, from one common ancestor, one of those Alhadeffs or Alkadifs who disembarked in Rhodes in 1525.
Secondly, we must emphasize the strange and certain fact that there is no Alhadeff in Spain and none anywhere else who does not come from our Island. This is truly a unique case. While innumerable members of Sephardi families – Mendes, Cremieux, Lopez, Alvarez, Toledo, etc – scattered over the world and who have an Arab, Italian or French clan name – they do not have in common any family relationship and come from hundred of different places. The Alhadeffs consist of a well-defined and limited clan; we are all, no matter where we live, in U.S.A., Canada, Australia or South Africa, born in Rhodes or come from there.