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Update 5766 [Dec 2005ce].
Descendants of Elias Cassorla of Monastir This section is dedicated to and documents seven (7) generations of the family history of descendants of Eliás Cassorla of Monastir.

Related sefaradí families include: multiple Aroesty families, Baker / Beahhaar / Ben Yakaar, Behar, multiple Calderon families, Camhi, Mitrani, multiple Passo / Pesso families, Testa, Todelano/Toledano, Youcha.
The Family and its Names: Cassorla, Elias and Kassorla

How did this family come to have its three Latin-alphabet names?

  1. In Monastir, there were several families who carried the Cassorla name. Some were related, others were not. (For example, the former Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Paris, France, Moïse Cassorla, was an unrelated schoolmate of my father in Monastir. One can only imagine what it was like for these two boys growing up with the same name, going to the same school, as close friends--and not even in the same clan.) One way that the families were told apart in ordinary conversation was by referring to an ancestor or antecedent. A prominent antecedent of our family group was Eliás; his descendants were known as "los Eliases," and his prominence in the lore of the family was such that his name ripples through the generations.
  2. Monastir was a multilingual town. Some of the linguistic influences are reflected in the family names. The clan name Elias is a common Hellenized (Greek) rendition of Eliahu, one of the consistently traditional given names in the family. The name Cassorla, reflecting the pre-Inquisition origin point of the family (Cazorla, in the province of Jaén in southern Spain) would have been spelt with a "C" in Spanish, Italian and French, but with a "K" in both Greek and Slavic. In Hebrew, some families used the C-like "caph" while others (including ours) used the "kuf." Anecdotally, it's possible that in the USA the K spelling was used to pre-empt the frequent questions: Are you Italian? or, Is your name Italian?
  3. Sometimes, as with so many immigrants, they entered the country with "Ellis Island names."
  4. So when the family emigrated, the question "What is your family name?" was likely to have any of the responses we now see: Cassorla, Kassorla, Elias.

The Elias Cassorla Family Tree

  • *Haim Eliás CassorlaOf blessed memory
    (known as "Tío Eliás")
    Emigrated to Yerushalayim in the last half of the nineteenth century CE. Legendary in the family for having written that he grew a new set of teeth, in his old age after arriving in ha'Aretz. He allegedly wrote that he was able to crack walnuts in his mouth with the miracle teeth.
    Buried 1888ce in the Mount of Olives.

  • We don't have any detail about his children.
    From this point onward, everyone in this section is descended from his son Eliás.
    • [Rabbi]*Elias/EliyahuOf blessed memory.  Died 4 Adar-sheni 5695, 1935ce. Cassorla -m. *Miriam bat *RivkaOf blessed memory. Died 5671, 1911ce. [??]

      To see a photo of some members of this family, thought to be taken in 1910ce in Monastir, click here. Careful, the file is over 70K. [Thanks to Cousin Paulette, who made this photo available from her parents' archives.]
      A July, 2001 note from cousin Madelyn Elias Greenstein suggests that the photo may have been taken on the occasion of the wedding of her Papu and Nonna, Haham Meir and Joya. Joya is the one just to the right of center in the row of women.

      His children were Haim, Nissim, Solomon, Meir, Rebecca, David.

      In the USA, Haim and Nissim used the name Cassorla, while Meir and David used the name Elias. As far as we know, Solomon and his family remained in the old country and perished in the Shoah at the hands of the anti-Semitic destroyers. Their names appear in the register of those deported from Monastir to Treblinka in 1943.

      • [Rabbi]*HaimOf blessed memory.  Died 2 Iyar 5713, 17 April 1953ce. (Haham Bohor) Elias Cassorla -m. *Vida(Hava/Victoria/Evelyn)Of blessed memory Pesso

        First-born (Bohor) of Eliás. Having been the Rosh Av Bet Din of Monastir, he was known--and always addressed--as Haham Bohor by everyone, even close relatives. He served as an auxiliary chaplain and religious authority for the army under the Ottomans as well as under the Serbian and Yugoslavian governments. As such he was called during Ottoman times a Haham Bashí. His children always addressed him as Señor Padre. His grandchildren, of course, called him Papú.

        His wife Vida, was called Nonna by all her grandchildren.
        [ Go ]Vida was a daughter of Yaacov and Rachel Pesso of Monastir.

        Family lore has it that Vida was promised to Haim on the day he was born. (She was two years old at the time.) In those days it was quite common for babies not to survive the birthing process. Apparently, when he was born, he was so quiet and still, that the midwife thought he would not live, and put him aside. When Rachel Pesso came to attend to her friend Miriam, the midwife indicated the babe. She went over to see him and could tell that he was alive, and exclaimed that he was a fit groom for her own child, Vida. So these two, whose names both mean "life" were married when they were of age.

        The family lived at Gostivarska Ulitsa 9. When they left, Eliahu and his family continued to live in the house.

        Haham Bohor Cassorla emigrated to the US in 1930 with his wife, and three of his children-all single at the time: Rachel, Moshe, Yosef. They traveled overland first to Belgrade, for an audience with the King--arranged by the Haham Bashí of the country, Dr Isaac Alcalay (who would later emigrate also, and become the Chief Rabbi of the Sepharadim in the US). Then by train via Bern, Switzerland to Le Havre, France. Thence, aboard the SS Ile de France to Ellis Island. They proceeded to Rochester to join his son Jack who had settled among a large community of emigrants from Monastir there. Haham Bohor was employed as the Rabbi and Hebrew School teacher of the Sephardic community in Rochester for some years. Afterwards, they relocated to New York City, which they never left. Jack and his family stayed in Rochester.

        Haham Bohor was a scholar and religious leader whose opinion was sought from afar, fluent in several languages--but never learnt English, even after some 23 years in l'America as he called it. He died a widower on the 2nd of Iyar 5713 (17 April 1953) in the Sephardic Home for the Aged, in Brooklyn.

        Their children were Jack, Sol, Eliyahu, Rachel, Moshe, Joseph.
        In the US, Jack used the name Elias, Rachel and Moshe used Cassorla, and according to family lore, Joseph changed his spelling to Kassorla as an adult, during the 1940s. As far as we know, Sol and Eliyahu never left the Old Country, nor did any of their descendants. One piece of family lore has it that Sol and her family lived in Skopje, and may have emigrated to Palestine from there.

        • *Jack (Yaacov/Yacu)Of blessed memory. Born in Monastir March 23, 1899ce. Died in Rochester NY USA 17 Kislev 5737; Dec 16, 1978ce. Elias -m. *Sophie (Simcha/Shemesh/Sol)Of blessed memory. Born Nov 19 1903ce in Monastir.  Died 6 Nisan 5736; Apr 6, 1976ce in Rochester NY USA Baker
          The first-born son of Haham Bohor Haim and Vida, born in Monastir when it was still part of Turkey (the Ottoman Empire). As the eldest son, Jack was the New World trailblazer for the family. His parents and three unmarried siblings came later. The other two (Sol and Eliyahu) had families already and stayed in the Old Country.
          Traveling alone to the US, at the age of 16, he arrived aboard the Vasilios Constantinos from Piraeus (the Greek port for the city of Athens) at Ellis Island, in August of 1915ce. He was bound for Indianapolis, Indiana. After also trying Rochester, NY, and New York City, he settled in Rochester during the summer of 1919ce. There he was naturalized in November 1922ce, and married Sophie on August 12, 1923ce.
          [ Go ] Sophie was a daughter of Eliyahu and Buena Baker of the Baker/Beahaar/BenYakar family.
          Jack developed an extremely articulate and precise command of the English language (he was much in demand to write Bar Mitzva speeches for his nephews), was well-known nationally as a stamp-collector, frequently served in Rochester as a translator, and could write both forward and backward (mirror-writing) with either hand, in more than one language. He worked for many years as a presser for Hickey-Freeman and later for Bond's Clothes. He died a widower in Rochester on December 16, 1978ce at the age of 79.
          Jack and Sophie's children: Hy, Evelyn, Beverly.
          • Hyman (Haim) Elias -m. Jean Pearlman
            He had a long and successful career as an engineer and executive for a major industrial corporation.
            • Michael Edward Elias -m. Patrice Zamary, [RN]
              • Lindsay Ann Elias
              • Justin Michael Elias
              • Kathryn Elizabeth Elias
            • Jay Martin Elias -m. Lori Reitzas
              • Thomas Jay Elias
              • Robert Andrew Elias
              • Hope Sydney Elias
              • Emma Nicole Elias
            • Susan Barbara Elias -m. John Vester II
              • William Alexander Vester
              • Andrew Michael Vester
          • Evelyn (Hava) Elias -m. Martin Schron
            • Steven Schron -m. Barbara Boyar
              • Sara Schron
              • Jessica Schron
              • Paul Schron
              • Melanie Schron
            • Jeffrey (Yaacov) Schron -m. Barbara Tropiano
              • Philip Schron
              • Gregory Schron
            • Sindy (Sol) Schron -m. Jeffrey Cantor
              • Aaron Jacob Cantor
              • Rochelle Beth Cantor
              • Michael Benjamin Cantor
            • Ellice Schron -m. Christopher Gelder
              • Madeline Sophie Gelder
              • Jacob Eli Gelder
          • Beverly (Buena/Tova) Elias -m. David Figelman [DDS]
            • Marc Figelman -m. Robin [??]
            • Sharon (Sol) Figelman -m. Peter Levy
              • Erika Brett Levy
          {End of descendant lists for Jack Elias, son of Haim Elias Cassorla and Sophie Baker Elias, daughter of Eli Baker.}
        • *SolOf blessed memory. B. ??, d. 1943 in Treblinka. Cassorla -m. *[??] Toledano
          The second child of Haham Bohor Haim, Sol and her family are presumed to have perished at the hands of the Nazis.
          Her husband's family name was Toledano or Todelano; apparently, they actually lived in Skopje. According to family lore, her husband had left Skopje, in search of a sanctuary for the family, possibly in Bulgaria or The Holy Land, but could not retrieve them before the deportation of 1943. The deportation rolls of 1941 from Skopje contain no Toledanos, but quite a few Todelanos.
          • MaleOf blessed memory. B. ??, d. 1943 in Treblinka. child
            It's known that at the time the family left Monastir, in 1930ce, Sol had a son.
            [ Go ] Photo of Sol and Family in Belgrade A photo survives of Sol, her husband and son from a time they lived in Belgrade.

          The Skopje deportation rolls contain a possible reference (6516) to her. A certain Sol (b. March 1, 1906ce), wife of Juda, living among the household of her brother-in-law David Isak Todelano, with her three children, Isak (b. Nov 13, 1928ce), Stella (b. Jan 23, 1931ce), and Jakov (b. April 4, 1934ce). She is listed as having been a seamstress. The household was at Str. 118, Nr. 24.
        • *EliyahuOf blessed memory.  Died 2 Nissan; 18 March 1934ce. Cassorla -m. *SolOf blessed memory. B. ?? in Monastir, d. 1943 in Treblinka. Aroesty
          Third born to Haham Bohor Haim, Eliyahu died in 1934ce in Belgrade from complications from an operation.
          The remnant of Eliyahu's family are presumed also to have perished at the hands of the Nazis.
          [ Go ] Photo of Eliyahu and Family in Skopje A photo survives of Eliyahu, Sol, and their two daughters, Victoria and Clara, from before their third daughter was born.
          Two of Sol's brothers, Salomón and Hayyim Aroesty, emigrated to the US, and settled in Rochester, where they had a successful fruits business for many years.
          • Vida (Victoria)Of blessed memory. B. ??, d. 1943 in Treblinka. Cassorla
          • ClaraOf blessed memory. B. ??, d. 1943 in Treblinka. Cassorla
          • FemaleOf blessed memory. B. ??, d. 1943 in Treblinka. child
        • *RachelOf blessed memory. Died 11 Teveth 5744; Dec 17, 1983ce. Cassorla -m. RalphOf blessed memory. Died 23 Av 5752; Aug 22, 1992ce. (Raphael ben Aharon v'Zimbul) Mitrani (of Kirklisse/Kirklareli, Turkey)
          Rachel was the fourth child of Haham Bohor Haim.
          [ Go ]Read about the Mitranis of Kirklareli in Turkey.
          • Aaron (Aharon) Mitrani -m. Judy (Yehudit bat Silvie v'Avraham (Al))Stein
            • Gayle Evelyn (Gittel Vida) Mitrani -m. Daniel Lewis
              • David Lewis
              • Raphael Lewis
            • Alan Elie (Avraham Eliyahu) Mitrani
          • Esther Mitrani -m. [PhD]Jerry (Gedalia) Hiller
            • [MD]Phyllis Rivka Hiller -m. [ Send e-mail ] Kenneth Alan Fine Picture. 61K
              They have a homepage.
              • Melissa Fine
            • Susan (Shemesh) (Sol) Hiller
            • Avram "Avi" Hiller
          • Hymie (Haim) Mitrani -m. Randye (Rachel) Signorelli
            • Adam (Raphael) Mitrani
            • Rachel Mitrani
          {End of descendant lists for Rachel Mitrani, daughter of Haim Elias Cassorla.}
        • [Rabbi]*Morris CassorlaOf blessed memory. Born February 29, 1912ce. Died 12 Tishri 5761; October 11, 2000ce. -m. Lillian Calderon Sept 1997 picture. 25.6K
          [ Go ]Lillian is a daughter of Bohor Perets Rahamim Calderon and Buena.
          Known in the family variously as Moïse, Moshi, or Moshón, he was the fifth of Haham Bohor's children.
          First job in the US was with Ontario Cap Co of Rochester NY. Did business for many years in New York City as Jerry Sportswear, manufacturer of ladies' sportswear.
          • [ Send e-mail ] Elie (Eliyahu) Cassorla Photo -m. Judith Evans (Yocheved bat Mordechai haCohen v'Hana) Nash

            As the first-born, I remember always being introduced by my father as: This is my bohor. For a long time I thought my name was actually my bohor.
            Provided by Elie Cassorla

            Judy's mother was born Migden. The Migden family, though Ashkenazic, believes their name to be derived from Macedon. (In Greek, the word is spelled with a kappa, giving rise to, for example, the place name Mukden, in Asia, in honor of Alexander, the Macedonian conqueror.)

            • [ Send e-mail ] Jonathan (Yonah) Cassorla Photo -m. Alison (Hana bat Ephraim) Fields
              Alison is the second daughter of Fred (Ephraim ben Yitzhak) Fields (originally Fidelholtz) and Irene (née Rothfeder).
              • Erica Anne (Yisraela) Cassorla Photo
              • Jessica Robin (Yocheved Rachel) Photo
            • [ Send e-mail ] [PhD] Mark (Moshe) Cassorla -m. Kate ('Zipora bat Avraham) Clark Photo. 67.4K
              Kate is the third daughter of (the late) Dr Wallace Clark and Carol. Dr Clark was a world-renowned researcher in melanoma.
              • Dina Cassorla
                Dina is big into gymnastics these days.
              • Meira Cassorla
              • Eliyahu Cassorla
          • Peris (Peretz) Cassorla [LCol USAFR(Ret)] -m. Lita J. Keller (mother Shirley)
            • Shira Lea Cassorla -m. Mike Thompson
              • Amber Nicole Thompson
            • Louis Joseph Cassorla
          • Twin [Rabbi]Haim Cassorla -m. Rachel Stacy [RN] (daughter of Robert Sherman Stacy and Audrey née Gray)
            • Moshe Benjamin Cassorla Photo -m. Dina Pinkowski Photo
              • Joseph Robert Cassorla Photo
            • Tamar Cassorla Photo
              • Oren
            • Leah Cassorla Photo
            • Hadas Cassorla -m. Roberto Aguilar Photo
          {End of descendant lists for Morris Cassorla, son of Haim Elias Cassorla.}
        • *Joseph (Joe) KassorlaOf blessed memory. Born July, 1914ce. Died 10 Elul 5759; August 22, 1999ce. -m. Shirley Gordon
          Sixth child of Haham Bohor Haim.
          • Twin Victoria Kassorla
          • Twin Madelyn Kassorla -m. Peter Honig
          • Ellice Kassorla -m. Howard Schneider [PhD]
            • Eric Schneider
            • Stacey Schneider
            • [R]Arielle Schneider
          • [Rabbi] Hayyim Kassorla -m. (1) Jodi (Yael) Sidel
            A graduate of Yeshiva University, he was for many years the Rabbi of Magen David Sephardic Congregation, Bethesda, MD.
            He also served as the Rabbi of a Mashhadi (Persian) Congregation in New York.
            • Yosef Kassorla
            • [ Send e-mail ] Eliyahu Kassorla
            • Naftali Kassorla
          • [Rabbi] Hayyim Kassorla -m. (2) Dr. Michelle (Yael) Murphy
            Since March 2004, spiritual leader at Kahal Kadosh Or VeShalom Sefaradim in Atlanta, GA.
        • {End of descendant lists for Joseph Kassorla, son of Haim Elias Cassorla.}
        {End of descendant lists for Haham Bohor Haim Elias Cassorla, son of Eliás.}
      • *NissimOf blessed memory Cassorla -m. *PressiaOf blessed memory. Died 1 Kislev. Calderón
        Second born of Rabbi Elias Cassorla.
        [ Go ]Pressia Calderon was a daughter of Jacob Calderon.
        They arrived at the Ellis Island port of entry in 1913, aboard the vessel Oceania. In the ship's manifest, his age was given as 33 and hers as 26. Her name appears as "Precia." They had with them their three children, Vida/Evelyn-age 3 1/2, Miriam/Mary-age 2 1/2, Hana/Annie-age 6 mos. The ship's last previous port of call had been Patras, in Greece.
        According to the then-custom, he was always referred to as hermano Nissim by all the families of his siblings, and his wife as hermana Pressia.
        They lived 20 years in Rochester NY, then moved to the New Lots section of Brooklyn, on Malta on a street and in a neighborhood filled with family members and countrymen.
        He was so beloved, that when he died prematurely, the funeral procession stretched for blocks, and the crowd was joined by just about every able-bodied Monastirli in New York City and the surrounding vicinity.
        • *EvelynOf blessed memory. D. ~1999-2000ce, in Rochester, age ~91 or 92. Cassorla -m. Jack Aroesty
          [Lived in Rochester.]
          [ Go ]Jack was the fourth born of Menachem J. Aroesty.
          Evelyn (Cassorla) and Jack Aroesty had Julian, Norman and Helen.
          • Julian Aroesty - m. Roseanne [??]
            • Jack Aroesty
            • David Aroesty
            • Jody Aroesty
          • Norman Aroesty
          • Helen Aroesty - m. Lee Tinsman
            • Joel Tinsman
            • Alan Tinsman
            • Michael Tinsman

          {End of descendant lists for Jack Aroesty, son of Menachem J. Aroesty, and his wife, Evelyn, daughter of Nissim and Pressia Cassorla.}
        • *Mary (Miriam)Of blessed memory Cassorla -m. (1) Jack[??] Nahmias
          [*Mary]    -m. (2) JulieOf blessed memory Weprinsky
          Mary retired to the Sephardic Home in Brooklyn.
        • *Hana/AnnieOf blessed memory (Hana) Cassorla -m. JosephOf blessed memory "Joe" Forlader
          • Irwin Forlader -m. Sandra ("Sandy") [??]
            • Craig Forlader
            • Steven Forlader
          • Marlene Forlader -m. Ira Levine
            • Scott Levine -m. Joanne [??]
              [ Freeport, NY ]
              • Megan Levine
              • Michael Levine
            • Tina Levine -m. Gregory Mills
              • Marlayna Mills
              • Kaylie Mills
        • Eli (Eliyahu) "Allie"Of blessed memory, b. ?1920?, d. 5/21/2002, aged 82? Cassorla -m. Bella Testa
          Allie Cassorla was active throughout his life in family, congregational and Monastirli affairs. His final resting place is in a place of honor, the front row of the Monastirli section of Beth Moses Cemetery, Farmingdale, LI, NY.
          [ Go ]Bella is a member of the Mordohai Testa family of Monastir.
          • Priscilla Cassorla -m. Norman Hopkins
            • Evette Hopkins
            • Donna Hopkins
          • Marlene Cassorla
            [Los Angeles, California]
        • Louise Of blessed memory. Born Dec 22, 1916ce. Died Jan 15, 2004ce; 21 Tevet 5764. Cassorla -m. Abe Of blessed memory. Died Erev Sukkoth 1981. Behar
          Had an electrical manufacturing business. A.N.C. Manufacturing Co. in Brooklyn.
          • Donna Behar -m. Tom Senning
            • Wynn Senning -m. [??]
              • Caleb [??]
              • Alden [??]
            • Tom Senning, Jr.
          • [ Send e-mail ]Nelson Behar -m. Marcia Meer Grunwald
            • [R] Ellie (Eliezer) Behar -m. Miri Jacob
              • Yerachmiel Meir Haim Behar
              • Hanna Shaina Behar
              • Yisrael ___ Behar
            • Avraham Yosef "Avi" Behar -m. Malka Shulman
              • Aryeh Yehudah Behar
              • Yehoshuah Beir Behar
              • Moshe Gedalia Behar
            • Yerachmiel MeirOf blessed memory. Died 12 Sivan. 1995ce. Behar
        • Shirley Cassorla -m. Charles ("Charlie") Altimar
          • Beth Altimar -m. William ("Bill") Wishinsky
            • Max Aaron Wishinsky
          • Bruce Altimar
        • RuthOf blessed memory Cassorla -m. Burton ChenkinOf blessed memory
          • Nelson Chenkin -m. Judith Friend
          • David Chenkin -m. Geri Weiss
            • [ Send e-mail ] Jared Chenkin
            • Perry Chenkin
          • Ted "Teddy"Of blessed memory. B. ??, d. 8/3/1994 Chenkin
            Perished in a motorcycle accident August 3, 1994.
        • Betty Cassorla -m. AbeOf blessed memory Nussbaum
          • Shelly Nussbaum -m. Michael Rubin
            Currently of Miami, FL.
            • Adam Rubin
            • Kevin Rubin
          • Nancy Nussbaum -m. Robert Silvers
            • Ricky Silvers
            • Casey Silvers
            • Amber Silvers
        • Morris "Moshi" Cassorla -m. Evelyn Meisner
          [Boca Raton FL]
          • Paulette Cassorla -m. Ken Halpern
            [Margate FL]
            • Matthew Halpern
            • Andrew Halpern

            We were talking about stories from the old days. Here is one with a different twist. It is actually a very modern one.
            My nunna Pressia passed away several months before my wedding. I was devastated. She was not well, she would not have been able to attend the wedding, but her death was to me "unbelievable." She died Friday night, so the funeral was Sunday. More time for bad thoughts. At the funeral when people passed by the casket and past the mourners, I leaned over to my Aunt Mary (Weprinsky) and said, "She still is alive in every grandchild that is named for her and knew her" (of which I am one).

            I always hated the day of her año. It was just too much to think of. Several years after we were married, I am pregnant with my first child (due date 11/8). Due date passes. I finally give birth on 11/30, early in the evening but after nightfall. I look at my husband Ken and ask what Hebrew date it was. It was the first of Kislev. That is Pressia Cassorla's año. From the world beyond, she turned a "bad" into a joyous day.

            I believe every day she walks on my shoulder giving guidance and that was her sign.

            My eldest is named after my dad; keeping alive the tradition of naming after living grandparent.
            Anecdote contributed by Paulette Cassorla Halpern

        • Esther "Gerry"Of blessed memory Cassorla -m. Jack Monteko
          • MichaelOf blessed memory Monteko -m. Sandra Isackson
            Mike Monteko's untimely passing at the age of 42 was memorialized by his brother Neal in a note as follows:
            Michael died from a lung cancer that metastasized to his bones and lymphatic system. He ignored the pain for months because he was a highly conditioned athlete and outdoorsman who trained with pain regularly. That, his serious commitment to Zen Buddhist mind/body discipline and the fact that he was strikingly handsome led many to believe he was indestructible. Maybe he believed it too. By the time he took himself to a doctor, it was way too late.
            • Remy Monteko-Sherman
          • Neal J. Monteko -m. Deborah Reiter
        • Jack Cassorla -m. Jackalyn [??]
          • Carolyn Cassorla -m. Howard Snyder
            • David Snyder
            • Jeffery Snyder
          • Pamela Cassorla -m. Frank Barbera
            • Jenna Barbera
            • Leslie Barbera
          • Suzie Cassorla -m. James "Jimmy" Schmutz
            • TJ Schmutz
            • Kimberly Schmutz
      • {End of descendant lists for Nissim Elias Cassorla.}
      • *Solomon Elias Cassorla
        Third son of Rabbi Elias Cassorla. Presumed to have perished in the Shoah with all his descendants.
        An entry (#1784) in the deportation register of 1943 appears to be of his family.
        [Rabbi] Schelomo ElijauOf blessed memory -m. Miriam [??]
        He was born Aug 10 1879ce; she Dec 10 1901ce.
        Also captured at the same time, at their home Herzegovacka 42, the following offspring:
        • David, b. Aug 27 1917ce
        • Mois, b. May 20 1921ce
        • Donna, b. Dec 5 1923ce
        • Jakov, b. Jun 27 1927ce -- a tailor
        • Avram, b. Jun 25 1929ce
        • Rebekka, b. Apr 20 1934ce
        • Haim, b. Mar 16 1936ce
        • Wida, b. Sep 17 1940ce
      • *girl-child died in infancy
        Fourth born of Rabbi Elias Cassorla.
      • [R][Rabbi]*MeyerOf blessed memory Elias -m. *Joya Pesso (unrelated)
        The fifth born of Rabbi Elias Cassorla, he was known as Haham Meir outside the family. According to the then-custom, he was always referred to as hermano Ma-yir by all the families of his siblings, and his wife as hermana Joya. He spent his last days in the Sephardic Home for the Aged in Brooklyn.
        According to family lore, Joya's mother died in childbirth, and she was raised by a family named Levy.

        Photo-circa 1910ce. See a photo of some members of this family, thought to be taken in 1910ce in Monastir, Careful, the file is over 70K. [Thanks to Cousin Paulette, who made this photo available from her parents' archives.]
        In a July, 2001 note, cousin Madelyn Elias Greenstein says "The family picture circa 1910 looks like it must be the wedding picture of Meir and Joya, my grandparents. I have one of just the two of them and she is wearing the same dress!" Joya is the one just to the right of center in the row of women. Madelyn continues "It is important to note that in a day when marriages were made by arrangement, Joya chose to marry Meir. He accepted and his parents agreed." [Tidbit contributed by Madelyn Elias Greenstein.]

        Haham Meir was the Rabbi of a Monastirli synagogue in New Lots for many years. He eventually grew too old to continue and retired to Rockaway. Afterwards, the "old neighborhood" went into decline, and eventually became known as part of the notorious Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville sections of Brooklyn. Later, it was literally flattened, and nothing remained to remind anyone of what had once been there.
        He spent his last days in the Sephardic Home for the Aged, in Brooklyn.
        Rabbi Meir Elias Cassorla had the largest personally-owned collection of books written in Ladino. This collection was donated by his children to the Yeshiva University in New York for future generations to study. Tidbit contributed by Tiskowitz family.

        • *Abe Elias (was Albert Cassorla) -m. AnnaOf blessed memory Youcha
          First born of Haham Meir. Currently of Tamarac, FL.
          Anna was the daughter of Chaim (Victor) Youcha, also of Monastir.
          According to immigration records, Abe and his mother arrived in the US February 8, 1912ce via Ellis Island, aboard the SS San Guglielmo from Naples (sailing Jan 19, 1912).
          The entries in the manifest list them as Djoya Cassorla and her son Albert Cassorla. Djoya was going to Rochester to join her husband Mair Cassorla, listed as then living at 113 Kelly Street. She lists their nearest relative in Monastir as "Uncle Jacob Cassorla". They may have been traveling together with [ Go ] Jacob Calderon and his wife Esther (neé Cassorla).
          • Victor Elias
          • Myron Elias -m. Arlene Buder
            • Ellen Ann Elias
          • Madelyn Elias -m. Steve Greenstein
            Madelyn's memories of her Papu include the following: [He] told me how he had to sit for his smicha from the OU when he came to this country. He was taught in Monastir by his father and his brothers, and ordained locally. The Union of Orthodox Rabbi's would not recognize his ordination, and he was retested by them. He was also relicensed as a shochet and a mohel.
            • Michael Greenstein
            • Abraham Greenstein
        • JackOf blessed memory. D. 1986ce Elias -m. Shirley Levy
          Shirley's mother was Anna Baruch. Anna had a brother who married Matilda Elias. Matilda's sister, Stamula (Stella) married a Salvator Confino Coffield. (This branch of the Confinos were Kastorialis.)
          Contributed by Isaac "Goody" Zacharia.
          • Julie Elias -m. Bernard Rowner
            • [ Send e-mail ]Howard Rowner -m. Edie [??]
            • [ Send e-mail ]SaritaRecent picture.[86.4kb]
          • AnitaOf blessed memory Elias -m. Leon Israel
            • Eli Israel
            • Jacob Israel
            • Moshe (Maurice) Israel
            • Avram (Avi) Israel
            • Leah Israel
            • Meirco (Meir) Israel
          • Ruth Elias -m. J. Fazio
            • Jill Fazio
          • Roberta Elias -m. Jeff Tiskowitz
            • Michael J. Tiskowitz
            • Stacey Tiskowitz
        • Joseph (Yehudah) Elias -m. Esther Mayo
          Lives in Boynton Beach.
          Esther is a sister to Sophia "Becky" Mayo, who is married to Mordecai Mestrano. Becky is an aunt to Isaac Zacharia. These apparently are all Kastorialis.
          • Ralph Elias
          • Mark Elias
          • Judy Elias
          • Ava Elias
        • Mary (Miriam)Of blessed memory Elias -m. Willie Wasserman
          2? children
        • Bella Elias -m. RubyOf blessed memory Pearlman
          • Fran Pearlman - m. Lenny Dannon
            • Mark Dannon
            • Jennifer Dannon
          • Marc Pearlman
          • Sandy Pearlman
        • Allen (Eliyahu) "Allie" Elias -m. Mollie Schinasi
          • JoyOf blessed memory Elias -m. [??]
          • MyronOf blessed memory Elias
        • HymanOf blessed memory Elias -m. ElaineOf blessed memory [??]
          • JoyceOf blessed memory Elias -m. [??]
            • Garret
            • [daughter]
          • HarveyOf blessed memory.  Died at very young age ~6-8 as result of a car accident in the 1950s. Elias

        Descendants of Hahm Meir Elias most recently updated July 2001ce based on contributions from family members including Madelyn Elias Greenstein.
        {End of descendant lists for Haham Meir Elias, son of Rabbi Elias Cassorla.}
      • *RebeccaOf blessed memory Elias -m. *[??]
        According to family lore, this [?sixth-born child?] daughter of Eliás saved her parás to send her brother David to America in 1909ce, when he was 17. She died young, possibly in childbirth.
      • [Rabbi]*DavidOf blessed memory.  Born 1892ce. Elias -m. SarahOf blessed memory Cassuto, daughter of Isaac and Esther
        Seventh born of Rabbi Elias Cassorla.
        According to the then-custom, he was always referred to as hermano David by all the families of his siblings, and his wife as hermana Sarah. Sarah came from Nis (pronounced Nish) where Alexander The Great was born. They met and married in Indianapolis. Later, when they moved to New York, he served for a while as the rabbi of a congregation of Kastorialis on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Afterwards they lived in Brooklyn (Coney Island) where hermano David was the rabbi of a small congregation. He spent his last days in the Sephardic Home for the Aged, in Brooklyn.

        According to family lore, his name was shortened from David Elias Cassorla by the registrar on Ellis Island, who decided that the name was too long!
        David and Sara had seven children—Issac, Mary, Louis, Jack, Rebecca, Esther and Joe.

        • IssacOf blessed memory Elias -m. (1) Alice Eisenberg
          Isaac, also known as "Isadore", first born son of Rabbi David Elias, Issac, was married twice.
          Issac and Alice had three children, Barbara, Gloria and Fredric.
          • [ Send e-mail ] Barbara Sarah ("Bobbi") Elias -m. David Bullock
            • Dandelion Esther Bullock
              Dandelion's middle name is in honor of her paternal grandmother, and of her great-aunt "Essie" Elias.
              • Octavia Antonya Cephas
              • Raquel India Cruz
          • GloriaOf blessed memory Elias -m. Victor Rivera
            • Gabriela Rivera
          • Fredric Adrian Elias
          [Isaac/Isadore] -m. (2) Nilda [??]
          Issac and Nilda had two children, Deborah and Thomas.
          • Deborah L. Elias-m. Thomas Pierce
            • Jeremy Pierce
          • Thomas Elias -m. Susan [??]
            • Nicholas Elias
            • Emily Elias
        • Mary (Miriam)Of blessed memory Elias -m. Jack Camhi, son of Molly (Malka) and Morris
          Mary was the second child of Rabbi David Elias.
          Jack Camhi received a full scholarship to Purdue University at age 16 and became a Mechanical Engineer. He worked for DuPont until his retirement.
          • [ Send e-mail ] Dorothy Camhi -m. Al Laoang
            Both Graphic Designers.
            • Jennifer Camille Laoang
              Jennifer Camille is a fine artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She has had exhibits of her paintings in NY galleries and has also sold some from her website: Camille Laoang
            • Elizabeth Laoang
              Elizabeth (Bette Cassatt) is an actress/musician in the Washington, D.C. area. On faculty at Catholic University in DC.
          • Richard Camhi
            With an Opera company in Switzerland.
            Richard wrote an "millennium" opera produced in Switzerland in January, 2000.
        • Louis (Eliahu)Of blessed memory Elias -m. Susannah [??]
          She may have been a "Stamboulia."
          Louis was the third child of Rabbi David Elias.
          • David Elias
          • Victor Elias -m. Lisa [??]
            • Victoria Elias
            • Oliver Elias
        • Jack (Jacob) Elias -m. Terry (Gertrude)Of blessed memory. D. June 28, 1993 Seglin
          Jack was the fourth child of Rabbi David Elias.
          He was born in New York. He was the first one in his family to graduate from college. He went to Colgate. He became a mechanical engineer, and moved to California in the 1950's to work on the space progam. He continued working in this field up through the Space Shuttle, until his retirement a few years ago.
          Provided by Corinne Elias Griswold
          • [ Send e-mail ] Carol Diane Elias -m. (1) [div.]
            [Dana Point, CA]
            Jamie is an artist, and Emily and Sara are both musicians.
            Provided by Carol Elias Ludovise
            • Sara Ludovise
            • Jamie Ludovise
            • Emily Ludovise
          • [ Send e-mail ]Corinne Elias -m. Frank Orr Griswold
            I am a middle school teacher in Palm Springs and Frank is a Speech Therapist.
            Provided by Corinne Elias Griswold
            • Ruth Elizabeth Griswold
              [ Washington, DC ]
            • Martin Elias Griswold
        • [ Send e-mail ] Rebecca (Rhea) Elias -m. Shephard "Shep" Bell, son of Minnie and Edward
          Rebecca was the fifth child of Rabbi David Elias. She was named for her father's older sister Rebecca, who had contributed to providing the wherewithal to send ermano David to the New World.
          • David Owen Bell Recent (1999) photo.
            Sea Captain, Educator, Environmentalist, Author.
            • Lexi (Levanah) Arrietta Bell
          • Robert "Bob" Bell -m. Amy Coss
            Bob is a Systems Manager for a New Jersey newspaper.
        • Esther Elias -m. Howard Switzer
          Esther was the sixth child of Rabbi David Elias.
          • Audrey Switzer
          • Madaline Switzer
        • Joe Elias -m. Judy Goodglass
          Joe was the seventh child of Rabbi David Elias.
          Joe Elias is an internationally known singer, preserver of Sefaradi tradition through song, who has a Sephardic band that has played at the Smithsonian Institution.
          • Laura Elias
          • Daniel Elias -m. Karin
            • Benyamin Elias
            • Max (Moishe) Elias
    • {End of descendant lists for Rabbi David Elias, son of Rabbi Elias Cassorla.}
      Descendant lists for Rabbi David Elias, updated October 1997ce from material provided by Rhea Bell, which supplemented material from several other family members, including Laura Elias, Debbie Pierce, Carol Elias Ludovise and Corinne Elias Griswold; updated October 1999ce from material provided by several other family members, including Bobbi Bullock, David Owen, Carol Elias Ludovise.
    {End of descendant lists for Rabbi Elias Cassorla, son of Tío Eliás.}

This section regularly updated by Elie Cassorla from material provided by several family members. Most notably, much of the detail here comes from my parents, MorrisOf blessed memory and Lillian Cassorla. Without their help and seemingly limitless, encyclopedic knowledge of many of the people mentioned in all parts of this site, there would be precious little detail here at all.

More recently, information has been contributed by children (Rhea Bell) and grandchildren of Rabbi David Elias (Laura Elias, Debbie Pierce, Carol Elias Ludovise and Corinne Elias Griswold), grandchildren of Rabbi Haim Elias Cassorla (Ellice Kassorla Schneider), and grandchildren of Nissim Elias Cassorla, Paulette Cassorla Halpern, Scott Levine and Jared Chenkin.

I am particularly indebted to Mark Cohen, who pointed me to a source for the deportation lists of 1943. Due to that piece of information, I've been able to enhance this site with much new information about those lost in the Shoah.

If you are related either by descent or marriage to this clan (Elias Cassorla), or if you have relevant information which would supplement or correct what's here, and would like to contribute, send e-mail to:

[ Send e-mail ] monastirli@hotmail.com
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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005ce by Elie Cassorla (Eliyahu ben haRav Moshe v'Leah). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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