ALFANDARI , family originating in Andalusia, Spain, and claiming descent from the family of Bezalel of the tribe of Judah. After the Expulsion (1492) the family spread throughout the Turkish Empire and France. For many generations they were among the major scholars and communal leaders of Constantinople, Brusa (Bursa), Smyrna, Egypt, and Ereẓ Israel. The first member of the family of whom there is knowledge is isaac b. judah, who died in Toledo (1241). jacob b. solomon of Valencia and Solomon Zarẓah translated Sefer ha-Aẓamim, attributed to Abraham *Ibn Ezra, from Arabic into Hebrew. The name "Alfandery" was known in 1506 both in Paris and in Avignon, and, in 1558, in Lyons. Variants are "Alfandaric" and "Alfandrec." Members of the family lived in Egypt immediately after the Expulsion from Spain at the end of the 15th century; they were primarily merchants. A 1515 document from Cairo mentions the merchant david alfandari. isaac, who traveled to Yemen on business, also lived there. Later, several members of this family immigrated to Egypt from Portugal, while some Marrano members of the family remained in Portugal. obadiah (mid-17th century), apparently a member of the Egyptian branch of the family, was the last marketer for the woolen industry in Safed, where he was known as "chief of the artisans." His business failed as a result of the exorbitant demands made upon him by the authorities in Safed, he left for Egypt, and it was on a journey from Egypt that he was robbed and murdered (c. 1661). jacob (second half of 16th century), a noted scholar of the Turkish branch, was the father of two well-known rabbis, Ḥayyim and Shabbetai. Ḥayyim (the Elder; 1588–1640) was a noted scholar, communal leader, and dayyan in Constantinople, his birthplace. He wrote a great number of responsa, four of which were in the possession of his grandson, Ḥayyim b. Isaac. Among his correspondents was Jacob di Trani. He also wrote commentaries to most of the talmudic tractates, as well as novellae on the Tur of Jacob b. Asher, but these have not survived. shabbetai, born c. 1590, achieved fame as a scholar in his youth, and corresponded with two of Safed's great scholars, *Ḥiyya Rofe and Yom Tov *Ẓahalon, with whom he developed close ties upon their visit to Constantinople. Ḥayyim the Elder's son jacob *alfandari was one of the leading scholars of Constantinople. Ḥayyim's other son, isaac raphael (c. 1622–c. 1687), studied under Joseph Trani and about 1665 was appointed rabbi of one of the congregations in Brusa, a position he held until his death. Isaac Raphael, whom A.M. Cardoso met in Brusa in 1681, is purported by the latter to have expressed his belief in Shabbetai Ẓevi to him, but this testimony is spurious. Isaac Raphael wrote many responsa and corresponded with Ḥayyim *Benveniste, who lauded him highly. His son Ḥayyim b. Issac *Alfandari was a noted scholar. elijah b. jacob alfandari (1670?–1717), rabbi and halakhic authority, was av bet din in Constantinople, where he was born and died. He fought Shabbateanism. His works include Seder Eliyahu Rabbah ve-Zuta (1719) on the laws of agunah and Mikhtav me-Eliyahu (1723), on the laws of divorce. Approximately at the same time there were in Salonika two scholars, both among the most distinguished of Solomon b. Isaac ha-Levi's pupils: moses alfandari, scholar and pietist, and his brother isaac.
Ḥayyim alfandari, known as "Rabbenu" to distinguish him from the Elder, was a rabbi in Jerusalem. In 1758 he was included among the members of Judah Navon's bet midrash, "Damesek Eliezer." He was also one of a delegation of the seven rabbis including Ḥ.J.D. *Azulai sent on a special mission to Constantinople (but getting no farther than Egypt) to oust the official representative of Jerusalem's "Va'ad Pekidei Ereẓ Israel." joseph alfandari (d. 1867), a dayyan and preacher in Constantinople, studied under Isaac *Attia, author of Rov Dagan. He wrote Porat Yosef (1868), responsa to which he appended his teacher's responsa, and talmudic novellae, and Va-Yikra Yosef (1877), homilies with some responsa.
solomon b. Ḥayyim alfandary (d. 1773), rabbi and dayyan in Constantinople, signed documents and halakhic decisions along with the other rabbis of the community from 1746 to 1764. He later became chief rabbi. His two sons, who also served as rabbis in Constantinople, were raphael Ḥezekiah Ḥayyim and abraham.
fernand alfandary (1837–1910), a judge, was appointed to the Court de Cassation in Paris (1894).
Ashtor, Toledot, 2 (1951), 486–7; S. Aviẓur, in: Sefunot, 6 (1962), 69; M. Benayahu, in: Aresheth, 2 (1960), 111–2; idem, Rabbi Ḥ.Y.D. Azulai (Heb., 1959), 380–1; Conforte, Kore, 46b; A. Galanté, Histoire des Juifs d'Istanbul, 1 (1941), 127.