Yavne Surnames Have Hebrew, Arabic Origins
By BETTY PROVIZER STARKMAN
We have had requests for name
origins of residents of Yavne,
Detroit's Project Renewal sister city.
ltzhaki is an Arabic Jewish
surname of patronymic origin
meaning "son" of Yitzhak. In
Genesis we read "For from Yitzhak
your seed will be called." In Arabic
countries, it was the custom to give
sons the name of their father.
Another name adopted from a
patronymic source is Agron, taken
from Aaron. Other derivatives of
Aaron are: Agronsky, Aren, Arkin,
Orlik and Orun.
Haroush stems from the
description of a physical
characteristic. In Arabic, "harosh"
Yavne Mayor Yehuda Baros
:1 31 1 31 1 1 •1.1
70600 7117 , 73 3 .7.31 08 -433311 -2- 3
:13M1' 111'1 1U
Dear Detroit "Mishpocha",
Just as it is always a joy to meet new members of the family,
so I gladly greet our own new family in Detroit, our sister
city through Project Renewal.
When approval was granted for this new relationship, I was
delighted because I knew of the many achievements of the
Jewish community of Detroit. My colleague in Ramla, Mayor
Yoram Rabi, described the many examples of friendship and
sharing that characterized your partnership over these past
means "long" or "tall."
The family name Mizrahi is of
Hebrew origin and indicates a
geographic location. Mizrachi
means "Middle Easterner" —
principally from Persia or Kurdistan.
The use of geographic surnames
usually occurred after the bearer left
his place of origin. It served as a
form of identification in the
Malka is a matronymic family
name chosen to honor a female
ancestor. In Hebrew, malkah means
"queen." The Encyclopedia Judaica
has an article about a Moroccan
branch dating from the 14th
In Israel, many surnames are
being changed and Hebraized. This
is the case of Golan. The original
name may have been Goldenberg,
meaning "golden mountain."
According to Benzion Kaganoff,
"Golan is not only phonetically
similar to golden, but it preserves
the idea of berg, `mountain'."
Dadun is one of the most
interesting surnames. Its origin may
be in the translation and
transliteration of a common Hebrew
name. In 1206, a Jewish man
named Mattityahu living in Bray,
France, signed a will. The document
was written in Hebrew and Latin
(the official language of the time).
His name appears as Mattitia in
Hebrew and as Deodatus in Latin (a
translation from Hebrew of Mattitia,
meaning "God gave"). In another
document in 1209, the same man is
called Dieudonne which is a French
translation of the name. Dieudonne,
being difficult to pronounce and
write, became abbreviated to
In documents from 1222 and
1224 the man Matityahu is called
The Berber language was only
in North Africa prior to the Moslem
conquest and is still in use today.
The use of I or 0 attached to the
beginning of a name means "son."
The Yavne family name Ohana
means son of Hana.
Ben Kayfetz of Toronto, Canada,
recently inquired about our sources
for the name Kutner/Kuttner —
assistant to a slaughterer or
shochet. Kayfetz believes, as does
Rabbi Kaganoff, that the name is of
geographic origin, derived from the
town Kutna, Poland. A
Polish/English Dictionary shows that
Kuter in Polish means "cutter."
Another source which we used was
Names: The Journal of the
American Name Society. An
extensive article in the September
1976 issue by Zvonko R. Rode,
entitled "The Origin of a Jewish
Family Names," lists Kutner as
meaning assistant to a slaughterer.
Betty Provizer Starkman is
the past president and founder of
the genealogical branch of the
Jewish Historical Society of
And now it is Yavneh's turn to experience the special quality
for which Detroit Jewry is so well known. Through Project
Renewal, you will come to know us, too -- and I think you
will like what you see. We have a vigorous, forward-looking
city, whose residents care deeply about their future and that
of their children.
For one community, Neot Shazar, the progress has come more
slowly than for others. To fulfill the dream of a brighter
future, they will need facilities for their elderly, social
clubs for their children, programs to instill a new pride in
themselves and their community. Through Project Renewal, and
with your help and encouragement, we can accomplish whatever
we set out to do.
The city of Yavneh has played an important part in the
glorious history of the Jewish People. As the reborn state
of Israel celebrates its 40th anniversary, I take pride in
sharing with you this bright beginning for the citizens of
Bless you all -- and come visit us!
Workmen renovate the area surrounding Rabbi Gamliel's tomb.
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS