The Surnames of the Israel-Cherezli Family
Rabbi Isaac Israel was born in Sherez
around 1775 and arrived in
Kohen's Ladino-English/English-Ladino Concise Encycolpedic Dictionary (Hypocrene Books, NY, 2000) defines "Sherezli" (at p. 339) as "inhabitant or native of Serrez; what is related to Serrez".
Nehama's Dictionaire du Judeo-Espagnol (CSIC, Madrid, 1977) similarly defines "sherezli" as "habitant de Serres; qui a rapport a cette ville".
The name was later transliterated (under French influence) as “Cherezli”. The question of when Cherezli became the surname (as opposed to nickname) of the Israeli branch of the family and when the Egyptian branch reverted to the surname Israel is a difficult one.
It is really only with the fifth and subsequent
generations of the descendants of Rabbi Isaac Israel-Cherezli that Cherezli
became the surname (as opposed to nickname) of the Israeli branch of the
family. The tombstones of R. Hayim-Moshe and his son
R. Isaac (as listed in Helkat Mehokek) contain only the surname
On the Egyptian side, Rabbi Eliahou signed his name with the
initials "ISH" (alef-yud-shin) for Eliahou
Israel-Cherezli, although he was generally known simply by the surname
Accordingly, it appears that the Israeli branch of the family was called Israel-Cherezli certainly until the third generation and occasionally even in the fourth generation after Rabbi Isaac Israel-Cherezli. However, on the Egyptian side, this seems to have lasted only 1-2 generations after Rabbi Isaac Israel-Cherezli (eg Rabbis Eliahou and Yomtov).
The surname Cherezli is spelled in Hebrew in two forms: ùéøéæìé (shin-yud-resh-yud-zayin-lamed-yud) or ùøéæìé(without the first yud) . In the 19th century and the first half
of the 20th century, the name was transliterated into the Latin alphabet as
Cherezli, probably as a result of the French influence of the Alliance
Israelite Universelle in
Some members of the Israeli branch of the family have
changed their surname from Cherezli to a more modern, “Israeli”, form,
including: Argaman, Sherez,
Shemer, Israeli, and Sar’el.
Of the Egyptian branch, Marcel Israel (a great-grandson of R. Yomtov Israel-Cherezli) changed his surname from