The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©

Kala', KALAÏ, Cala, Calah, ALCALAÏ

among other possible variations depending on the country and language of the person.

The root of the name may be kala'

Prefixes attached to the root name such as (aben, iben, abi, avi, ben, bin, abou, a, bel ) denotes usually a relation to a person, i.e., the father of or the son of X, a place, i.e., a person from X, an occupation, i.e., a person who practices a specific occupation, a characteristic of a person, i.e., beautiful...

The prefixes al, el are equivalent to 'the' in English or the article 'le' in French.

In the Arab tradition, the prefix 'Abu' means usually 'the father of', a man is given the prefix 'abu' to identify him as the father of X. 'Abu' may also indicate a tribal affiliation. In the Hebrew tradition, the prefix ‘El ‘ is an abreviation of Elohim, Hebrew for God.

The root ‘kala'’ in Arabic and Hebrew refers usually to 'weaver.'

ALCALAÏ Aaron (1924-). Bulgaria. Painter and teacher. Lives in Israël.

ALCALAÏ David M. (1862-1933). Yougoslavia. Journalist. Editor of the Zionist journal Jevrejski glasnik (The Jewish Speaker).
ALCALAÏ Salomon (1878-1929). Serbia. Head of the Jewish Community of Belgrade. Member and president of the Zionist federation in Yugoslavia.
ALCALAÏ David ben Moché (1814-1882). Serbia. Hebrew Professor. Translated Pirké Avot (Treaties of the Fathers).
ALCALAÏ Abraham ben Chémouèl (1750?-1811). Turkey. Rabbi. Judge. Yeshiva director. Author of Zékhor lé’Abraham (A memorial of Abraham).
ALCALAÏ Bentsion (1858-1913). Morocco.Rabbi. Author of H’achir varach (Rich and Poor) among other publications.
ALCALAÏ Isaac (1881-1978). Bulgaria. Chief Rabbi of Serbia and Yougoslavia. Membre of the senat of Belgrade (1924-1941). Found refuge in USA during WWII.
ALCALAÏ Yéhoudah Salomon Haï (1798-1878). Bosnia. Rabbi of Semlin, near Belgrade. Called for a return to Israel in Chémah’ Yisraël (Listen, Oh Israel).

KALAÏ Baroukh ben Chélomo (XVIes.). Turkey. Rabbi of Sardokoupis. Author of Mékor Baroukh (Blessed Sources).
KALAÏ Chémouèl ben Moché (1550-1582). Corfou. Rabbi. Author of Michpaté Chémouèl (Samuel's Rules).
KALAÏ Mordékhaï ben Chélomo (XVIIes.). Turkey. Chief rabbi of Salonica. Director of the Portuguese. Author. His books were lost to a city wide fire (1625).


Azoulay, Hayim Yossef Shem Hagdolim (the names of the great)

AZOULAY Haïm Yossef David (Hida) (1724-1807) Chém haguédolim va’ad lahakhamim (The names of the Great Council of Sages).

Levi, J et. al. 2000        Dictionnaire biographique du monde Juif Sepharade et Mediteranean, Editions Elysee, Montreal.

Toledano, J. 1983        La saga des familles, Les juifs du Maroc et leurs noms, Editions Stavit, Tel Aviv

Laredo A. 1978           Les noms des juifs au Maroc