Jeffrey Malka, descended from a long line of Sephardic rabbis, is an amateur genealogist who researched his paternal family back to 13th century Aragon and Catalonia in northern Spain. See Malka family in pre-Expulsion Spain
Jeff Malka is the author of "Sephardic Genealogy:
Discovering your Sephardic Ancestors and Their World
", published in 2002, which was awarded the "Judaica Reference Book of the Year Award
" for 2002. The book is now in its much expanded 2009 second edition.
Discovering your Sephardic Ancestors and Their World. 2nd Ed. Avotaynu, 2009
Jeff Malka is the author of several chapters in the Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy
, in Etsi
the journal of the Sephardi Genealogical and Historical Society, and Avotaynu
Jeff Malka was an invited lecturer on Sephardic genealogy at the United States Library of Congress, numerous IAJGS annual conferences, the Washington Jewish Historical Society, and several Jewish genealogical societies in the U.S., Canada, Spain, and Istanbul.
In 2012 Jeff Malka was awarded the IAJGS "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies Annual Conference in Paris.
Jeff is a past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington.
In 1997, Dr. Jeff Malka who was then a practicing orthopedic surgeon, created an informational website "www.orthohelp.com" to provide free general advice to his patients
(early Orthohelp website
The same year, he created a Sephardic webpage under the orthohelp domain to similarly help others researching their Sephardic roots.
(Early Sephardic Sources website
). Inclusive by nature, this Sephardic website even had an Ashkenazi genealogy page!
At the time there was very little information available for Sephardic genealogy and JewishGen was focussed almost entirely on Eastern European Jewish roots and had essentially no Sephardic content.
See the early JewishGen website
So, in early 2001, Jeff Malka donated to JewishGen substantial content from his own Sephardic pages in an attempt to remedy that deficit. That Sephardic content appeared in JewishGen as the "SefardSig" webpages, part of JewishGen's "Shtetllinks" section. Obvious misnomers since there never were any shtetlach
in Sephardic countries and Sefard
was a name used by Hassidic Ashkenazi Jews who had adopted some Sephardic customs and prayers, never by Sephardim. But that was unfortunately typical of that era and there was considerable, not to say overwhelming, objection to changing things.
See Early JewishGen's SefardSIG website
In 2006-7, Jeff Malka's sephardic genealogy webpages obtained the SephardicGen domain and the site became available as SephardicGen SephardicGen website
SephardiGen has always been free to all and will always remain so. Jeff Malka will advise as and if he can but does not do private research for pay.
SephardicGen is a very large and multi-faceted site designed to assist the researcher in as many ways as possible, It contains sections on
The primary goal of SephardiGen is to help and provide useful information to its visitors. In this spirit, SephardiGen views other genealogy websites as fellow resources, not competition, and therefore frequently provides links to useful data on external websites.
Enjoy what the site offers and hopefully it will assist you in your Sephardic genealogical research.
You may wish to begin with
Above all, keep good records
or you will find yourself repeating the same searches. Use family 'legends
" as what they are: legends
with maybe a drop of truth in them. Publish
what you find for your descendents to find.