Branching Out From Sepharad
Traces Community History and Selected Rabbinic Dynasties
After 15 years of research, Sarina Roffé has completed Branching Out From Sepharad (New York: Sephardic Heritage Project, 2017). Roffé outlines the global journey of selected rabbinic families from Iberia to Syria to the Americas.
With the Foreword written by Dr. Walter Zenner A’H, Branching Out From Sepharad outlines the history of Jews in Spain, the 1492 Expulsion, the history of Jews in Syria, and follows them to the Americas. Biographies and genealogies of rabbinic families include the Kassins and Labatons, as neighbors in Vallodlid, and Hedayas, as well as genealogies of their related families (Attia, Dabah, Mizrahi). The book is footnoted and can be used as a source for research.
Branching Out From Sepharad has a complete biography of Rabbi Jacob S. Kassin A’H, Chief Rabbi of the Brooklyn community for more than half a century, and includes many documents outlining his life work and accomplishments. Kassin’s life is divided into three areas – his early time in Jerusalem, his rabbinic accomplishments, and his family life. Genealogies are also provided along with primary source documents.
The book includes over 100 photos and as many documents and letters. In addition, chapters include research on the term Sephardic Jew, Genealogy in the Torah, and Sephardic Naming Practices. In the chapter on Brooklyn’s Syrian Jewish Community, Roffé writes the 100-year history of the Brooklyn community, discussing the sociological impact of careers, philanthropy, traditions, and educational beliefs as they changed over a century.