Dr. Gil Dekel

A manuscript of the Ibn Yahya family tree. According to Arthur Menton, the manuscript is off an original tapestry.

It was perhaps created by the Italian branch of Yahya.

I have obtained an article[1], suggesting the manuscript was donated to The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) by Louis Bamberger (1855 – 1944). Page 14 states:

“An unusual document of family history is a very large vellum sheet containing an elaborate family tree of the Ibn Yahyas beginning in 1222, copied by Solomon Hayyim ben Joseph Gallico from an old copy written in Spain. The Italian branch of the family is particularly well represented. The tree is beautifully drawn and surrounded by an attractive border.”

Ibn Yaיya family tree.

Ibn Yahya family tree manuscript. 1730. Parchment, illustrated. Language: Hebrew. Courtesy of The Jewish Theological Seminary Library, NY, USA. ספרית בית המדרש ללימודי יהדות.


JTS librarian recently said[2] that Louis Bamberger commissioned the purchase of Hebrew books and manuscripts. The purchase was done by JTS librarian, Alexander Marx, who travelled abroad (i.e. outside USA) and bought the manuscript.

Another JTS librarian explained[3] that the manuscript was purchased from Isaiah Sonne.

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary (3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027, USA), holds the manuscript:

Title: Ibn Yaḥya family tree.
Italy, 1730.
Call Numbers: B (NS)Gn14, DR22-L22.
Decorated border. Ink on parchment.

The name in the inscription at the bottom of the plaque, Shlomo ben Yosef Gallico, is not the scribe of the present plaque, but rather the name of the person who created an earlier plaque which the present scribe copied.

26 August 2022. Last updated 29 Sep 2022.
© Gil Dekel

[1] Alexander Marx, ‘Mr. Bamberger’s Donation to the Seminary Library’, United Synagogue Recorder, vol. 8, no. 1 (January 1928). Pages 13-15. Quote from page 14.

[2] Liberman-mintz, Sharon. Email to Dr. Gil Dekel. 6 Sep 2022.

[3] Steinberger, Naomi. Email to Dr. Gil Dekel. 14 Sep 2022.