The Sephardic Communities in the Romanian Principalities

  • Felicia Waldman University of Bucharest, Center for Hebrew Studies


The paper traces the history of the Sephardic Jewish community of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, from its origins in the 16th century to the mid-20th century, illustrating some of its pivotal moments and its most influent members. Based on official documents and narrative sources, the settlement of the Sephardim in the medieval Romanian Principalities is reconstructed in its social, economic, linguistic and cultural complexity: the author discusses Sephardic settlement from within the Ottoman Empire, but also from Italy and Central-Western Europe, reconstructs the relations with the Ashkenazi community, especially in modern and contemporary times, and presents some prominent figures of the Sephardic community and their contribution to the development of modern Romania economy and politics