At the beginning of the 1900’s a growing number of Jews left the Island of Rhodes for other lands primarily in search of better economic opportunities. At first, most were young men who traveled with the intention of making some money and then return to pursue their family life on Rhodes. As time went by they tended to stay and then called for their family to establish a home in their new location.

The most popular destinations at that time were the Congo, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and the United States. A smaller number emigrated to South America, other countries of Africa and to Israel. Almost all of those that traveled to the United States passed through Ellis Island in New York.

A large number of Jews left Rhodes in 1938 and 1939 due to the War in Europe and as a result of the passing of anti-Jewish laws.

The following postcard image was sent from Rhodes to a family in the United States.  it was written in the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) handwriting called “Solitreo”.   It says: “Kon este vapor parto el 12 de Desember“.  Translated into English it means:  “I am leaving on this steam ship on December 12“.



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This is an audio recording of Joseph Capeloto, regarding his emigrating from Rhodes to the United States in 1907, at the age of 14. After traveling to New York, Joseph stayed in New York for eight days, and then traveled on to Seattle, Washington where his brother-in-law, Behor Joseph Alhadeff, had preceded him three years earlier. In Seattle, Joseph earned $8 per week and was able to send monies to his family that helped them to also immigrate to the U.S. in 1909. (This audio sound clip was recorded in Los Angeles by Aron Hasson in an interview conducted on April 26, 1972.)


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This is an audio recording of Nissim (Nace) Treves, regarding his emigrating from Rhodes to Africa in 1939, at the age of 16. Due to the difficulties caused by the Italian fascist government policies, he obtained documents to travel to be with his brother, Alexander, who was living in Katanga province of the Congo. (This audio sound clip was recorded in Los Angeles by Aron Hasson in an interview conducted on March 16, 1998.)

Images of places where the Rhodeslis emigrated:Montgomery, Alabamamontgomery

1912 photo in Montgomery, at the “brit milah” of Morris Rousso. In the center (each holding a baby): Mazaltov Piha holding Isaac, Baruch Cohen holding Diana (Polichar), Sol Cohen holding Victor, Sultana Capelouto holding Bolly, Sultana Rousso, a domestic helper holding Morris Rousso. Standing left to right: Emilie Franco, Bension Taranto, Elie Hanan, Victor Franco, unknown, Solomon Rousso, Sadie Taranto. Four men on the floor: Ralph Cohen (with mustache), Efraim Taranto (with white shirt), Abraham Franco and Joe Taranto.

Seattle, Washington


1924 photo in Seattle of the wedding of Morris Israel and Gentil Levy on the steps of the synagogue of the immigrants from Rhodes called, Ezra Bessaroth. The two flower girls in front are Bona Israel Hasson and Sarah Levy.

Atlanta, Georgia


1912 in Atlanta of many immigrants from Rhodes of the wedding party of Ezra and Joya Touriel at the Cohen home. Guests included Rabeno Galanti, Leo Amiel, Morris Hanan, Behor Arogeti, Mazaltov and Moreno Benvenisty, Morris Capouano, Victor Benatar, Chilibi Amato, David Tourial, Behor Levy, Daniel Rousso, Jack Galanti, Abraham Franco,Joe Galanti, Victor Behar, Louise Behar Barocas, Sadie Behar Mardy and Jack Behar.

New York, New York


1935 photo in New York of a banquet held by the Brotherhood League of Rhodes. It was originally organized in 1910 and incorporated in 1912. Similar to the experience in other U.S. cities, a group would be formed to aid the new immigrants regarding burial requirements as well as to conduct religious services and organize social affairs.

Portland, Oregon


1929 groundbreaking ceremony in Portland of the Ahavath Achim Congregation. People in photo include: Ezra Menashe, Zimbul Eskanazi, Fannie Eskanazi, Rabbi Fain, Isaac Hasson, Ojen Babani, Samuel Babani, Benjamin Selling, Rebecca Hasson, Abraham Hasson, Joseph Hasson, Mordechai Menashe, Isaac Cordova and Abraham Hunio.

Cairo, Egypt


1935 of the Tarica family in Cairo. Left to right: Elio, Sarina Galante, Eliakim and Violette.

Harare, Zimbabwe


1933 photo at the Hunyani river near Harare, Zimbabwe. In the center, standing left to right: Violette Hasson Mizrahi (child at her right hand is Elsie Menasce Mizrahi), Flo Galante Benatar and Hermana Behora Almeleh Hasson. On the ground in front, left to right: Morris Almeleh, Ida Alhadeff Hasson-Lebovitz, Lucia Almeleh Habib (holding Raymond Hasson), Sarina Capelouto Tarica, Victor Capelouto, Sarah Almeleh Rousso and the boy at right is Jacky Ferrera. Child sitting in the “Austin 7” automobile is Solly Benatar, child next to auto is unknown. (3 men in the background are unidentifiable.)

Katanga, Congo


1933 photo of a picnic in the Katanga province of the Congo. Sitting, left to right: Mr. Capelouto, Marco Benatar, Sammy Tarica, a Belgian, Eliachon Piha, Isidore Levy, a Belgian, Selma Benatar, Rosa Soriano, Moreno Soriano, Sam Hasson and Moise Rousso. Standing, left to right: a Congolese, Salvatore Israel, Alfred Habib, Yedid Alhadeff, unknown, and Isaac Levy.

Buenos Aires, Argentina


1922.  Left to right standing in the upper line: Moises Hana, Benjamin Hana, Unknown, Alejandro Hana and Hanula Berro.  Left to right sitting on the grass:  Jose Capeluto, Rachel Cohen, Samuel Hana, Esther Hana de Capeluto, Alejandro Capeluto, Rebeca Mizrahi de Berro, Roberto Berro, and the baby “Muicu” (Moises) Capeluto. (From Nora Graciela Cohen)



1934 wedding of Caden Berro and Masud Dudaie in Jerusalem.

Leave a Comment

15 Responses to “Emigration”

  1. April 30th, 2016

    Rochelle DeLeon:

    My grandpatrnts came from Island of Rhodes in the early 1900 Jacob DeLeon and Sarah Peha.. They come to Seattle. Grandfather one of the founders of Ezra Basarroth. Is there any information on them. My mother Stella Hasson and aunt Flora Hasson came to Los Angles after the consentration camp.

  2. November 24th, 2015

    jacob alhadeff:

    I am yakov, son of issac alhadeff, born in Rhodes in 1916. He emigrated to Israel in august 1939 & died in 1999 in haifa, Israel, where he lived 60 years. His parents sara(notrica) and jacob were sent to aushvitch on july 1944. To their end in august 1944.
    Very intersting to read further aspects of the history of the Jewish Community of Rhodes.

  3. June 21st, 2015

    Roz Massel:

    My grandfather, Ovadia Fiss left Rhodes about 1908 for NY. He went back to bring his wife, Esther and their 3 children to the US. They were related to the Cohen/Soriano families. Not sure on whose side, however. I believe my grandmother’s last name was Hasson. I know very little about their relatives. We had family in New Lots in NY as we used to go visit them. I have identified with being Sephardic my whole life. If anyone remembers them, please let me know. My Grandfather’s brother/family moved to Seattle in the 1930s. My daughter and I will be in Seattle in late July-early August. If there are any family members with the last name of Fiss, who came from Rhodes it would good to talk with them. Thank you.

  4. January 21st, 2013

    Nora Graciela Cohen:

    I’m from Argentina and my family came from Rhodes. The names of the people in the 1922 Buenos Aires picnic photo are: standing: Moises Hana, Benjamin Hana, Unknown, Alejandro Hana and Hanula Berro. Sitting on the grass: Jose Capeluto, Rachel Cohen, Samuel Hana, Esther Hana de Capeluto, Alejandro Capeluto, Rebeca Mizrahi de Berro, Roberto Berro, and the baby Moises Capeluto. They were all born in Rhodes except for the baby that was born in Argentina.

  5. November 23rd, 2012

    Richard Sadis:

    Photo of New York, New York, 1935, found my grandfather and grandmother (Morris and Julia Sadis) right smack in the middle of that picture. That’s an amazing photo. I just showed the photograph to my Dad and Mom, today Thursday 11/22/2012 Thanksgiving day, it made our family very thankful.

  6. September 28th, 2012

    Marc Kopman:

    Most interesting, my grandfather, Marco Habib, arrived in the Congo 1912 from Rhodes and was one of the founders/ pioneers of elizabethville and its jewish community.

    I was brith milah in the elizabethville synagogue during February 1955 by Rabbi Levy who had officiated at my parents wedding during 1954, he also performed the brith milah of my brother in 1959.

    I had brief contact with the Rabbis daughter and son about a year ago.

    Am looking to visit Lubumbashi soon to see the synagogue, cemetery, our home at Avenue Churchill and my school Athenee Royale (if they still exist).

    Marc Kopman
    South Africa

  7. August 30th, 2012

    Dr. Victor Alhadeff (Ben Ruben - Haim):

    Great! I have some pictures to share one day in my forthcoming book (“Memory”).

    I traveled in five continents when I was the Representative of the World Health Organization until 1999. My Grandpa Alhadeff Salomon Ben Joseph went to Argentina and returned to Rhodes Island. I met relatives in USA: Washington Seatle, California, New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami Florida, York PA, Europe: Belgium, Italy, Spain, France, Africa: South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Congo where I am born. Today there are two Synagogues: one in Lubumbashi and anothor in Kinshasa.

    William Kaplan: “In the Katanga photo, is Yedid Alhadeff related to Joseph or Maurice Alhadeff, or possibly actually one of them using a different first name? I am going to be in Rhodes in October, 2011.”

    Please note: Yedid Alhadeff is related to Alhadeff Ruben Ben Salomon in Rhodes Island. As a former Medical Doctor of the Alhadeff in Kinshasa for the Alhadeff Group – I was familiar with Maurice Alhadeff; J Alhadeff was part of the group Alhadeff like, Jock, Pepsi Cola, and “Usine de Couture a t 13eme Rue in Limete… Joseph Alhadeff and Victor Alhadeff are two brothers of Maurice Alhadeff.

    Conclusion: The name Alhadeff is borne exclusively by the near or distant members of our family. Today all the Alhadeff(s), 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.

    The first Rhodian Sephardic Jews to settle in Africa were the brothers Mousa and Salomon Gabriel Benatar who arrived in Salisbury, Rhodesia in 1895 according to Moussa Benatar, and Doctor Alhadeff Victor ben Ruben met him in Kinshasa former Leopoldville immediately after the Independence of Belgian Congo on Jun 30, 1960.

    Worthy of note is his father Ruben Alhadeff Ben Salomon, who settled in Elizabethville, Katanga and who after working for the Jewish Amato Frères Company, opened his own store in Luputa and thereafter in Leopoldville, Kinshasa today. He has a picture of the Group of the First Jews of Luputa in 1937 with one of them Alhadeff Ruben Ben Joseph alredy mentioned above; my father and another one vestige of the tombstone of Mrs. Alhadeff Miriam, wife of Mr. Alhadeff Haïm will be in my fothcoming book in English and French version.

    Miami Florida August 30, 2012

  8. January 3rd, 2012

    Regina Franco Bearman:

    I am the daughter of Isaac and Matilda Franco from Rhodes. I enjoyed seeing a picture of my dad’s brother, Abraham and many of the people in Montgomery and Atlanta. what wonderful photos.

  9. July 25th, 2011

    William Kaplan:

    In the Katanga photo, is Yedid Alhadeff related to Joseph or Maurice Alhadeff, or possibly actually one of them using a different first name? I am going to be in Rhodes in October, 2011. I am researching my good friend Allegra Alhadeff’s family history prior to our visit. Allegra is the daughter of Joseph (b. in Rhodes) and Rachel Alhadeff (b. in Izmir, fled to Rhodes). She and her 2 brothers have resided in the US since about 1947-8. Her father was a younger brother of Maurice Alhadeff, who brought Joseph to the Congo in the 1920’s to help him with the stores Maurice had opened which became the start of his enormous financial wealth.

  10. December 10th, 2010

    Ebondo Mpinga-young:

    Iam the grant daughter of Abner Tarica from the Island of Rhodes. He immigrated to Congo just aound the time indicated inthis site He later moved to Canada where he died. Everytime I visited Grand- Pere he got on my case for not making an effort to find his familly members who emmigrated to the United States. He had I beleive 8 sisters. He was the only Boy. Prior to his death i promised him that I will find them all, If you have an uncle, grand father or great grand father with a similar story, please leave a note on this site. This is so great thank you for this site.

  11. November 7th, 2010


    Hi Helene. Yes, I’ll email it to you.

  12. November 6th, 2010

    Helene Notrica Salat:

    I would very much like to know if it would be possible to receive a copy of the New York picture which was taken in 1935 in the banquet held by the Brotherhood League of Rhodes in New York. My cousin recently told me about this site and unbelievably I recognized my mother and father. Please let me know. Thank you so much.

  13. March 29th, 2010

    Rose Rousso:

    I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My grandfather’s name was Vitali Rousso and he came from Izmir, Turkey around 1912. My gradmother’s name was Luna Azicri, and she was also from Izmir.

    I wonder if my family is related to the Roussos from Rhodes?

  14. January 29th, 2010

    Tarica Claudia:

    Je suis la fille de Victor et Rosy Tarica. Je viens de trouver cette photo de mes grands-parents paternels, au Caire (famille Tarica) Très émue. Magnifique site. Merci.

  15. September 16th, 2009

    ana maria saal:

    llegue ayer de grecia y me quede muy impresionada con Rhodas, mi abuela paterna nacio en Rhodas su apellido era CAPELUTO , antes de la guerra se vinieron a la Argentina. para mi este viaje fue muy emosionante, mi abuela siempre me hablo de Rhodas, este ultimo no pude conocer. Me encanto esta pagina. Gracias