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