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Ashkenazim and Sephardim: A European Perspective

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Andrzej Katny, Izabela Olszewska and Aleksandra Twardowska

This volume is devoted to selected aspects of the culture and language of the two largest Jewish Diaspora groups, Sephardim and Ashkenazim. The authors analyze the latest European research tendencies related to both Jewish factions. Questions concern the historical, social and cultural contact with non-Jewish environment, the problems of Jewish identity, the condition of languages in both groups (Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish, Hakitía), and Jewish anthroponymy. The reflections concern various areas of contemporary Germany, Poland, Russia, the Balkan countries, Italy, the countries of North Africa inhabited by both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews. For the analyses, not only documents, manuscripts, press articles, and literary texts serve as a basis but also the artifacts of material culture.

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Zofia Abramowicz: The Role of the Name in the Identification of Jews in the Podlasie in the 16th– 20th Centuries

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The Role of the Name in the Identification of Jews in the Podlasie in the 16th– 20th Centuries Zofia Abramowicz University of Bialystok Abstract – The oldest sources from the 16th century show that Jews of Podlasie (Poland) lived according to their own culture and customs. Children were given names taken from the tradi- tional reservoir of biblical, Hebrew, Yiddish names. These names appeared in different ver- sions and sometimes were translated into Slavonic forms. They were different from Christian names, so for a long time they could exist as an identifying component of the Jewish people: such as Herszek’s, Całko, Fajwisz, Kielma (from 1794). These names became the basis of dif- ferent types of surnames e.g.: patronymics, matronymics. Jewish surnames were also derived from town names, too, e.g. Samuel from Kovl. This type of onomastic development lasted for a long time, until the middle of the 19th century. Under the Russian rule patronymic and mat- ronymic developed synthetic structures, e.g. Abramowicz, Jankielowicz, Rywkin. From the middle of the 19th century hereditary names begin to appear in a regular way in this area. In this paper I discuss three important issues: 1. The name as the basic identifying component, as the element of description; 2. The name as the root word of patronymics and matronymics; 3. The name as the root word of hereditary names. Keywords: Given Names, Jewish, Podlasie, Poland East and West Slavic settlements were situated in Podlasie. At the same time Lithuanians, Tatars and other smaller ethnic...

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