COVO , family originating from Covo near Milan, which produced many rabbis who flourished mainly at Salonika. Among the most important are the following: (1) judah (d. 1636), rabbi of Salonika. For the privilege of residing in Salonika the leaders of that community had undertaken to pay the Turkish authorities a special annual tax. Owing to the difficulty of finding the sum in cash, the authorities had agreed to accept in lieu clothes manufactured by Jewish craftsmen. Year by year a delegation of leaders of the community brought quantities of clothes to Constantinople where they were publicly sold and the proceeds made over to the authorities. In 1636 R. Judah headed the delegation. Because the clothes brought that year were regarded by government officials as inadequate in quantity and in value, R. Judah was summarily put to death and the other members of the delegation imprisoned and cruelly punished (Rosanes. Togarmah, 3 (1937/38), 396–8). (2) elijah (d. 1689), rabbi and rosh yeshivah at Salonika. He was the author of Aderet Eliyahu, responsa and halakhic decisions. Together with those of Joshua Handali, they were published under the title Shenei ha-Me'orot ha-Gedolim (Constantinople, 1739). (3) joseph ben shemaiah (d. 1727), chief rabbi of Salonika. He wrote a letter in support of the Shabbatean Nehemiah *Ḥayon, and was the author of Givot Olam (Salonika, 1784), responsa and homilies. (4) joseph hezekiah ben isaac (d. 1762), rabbi at Salonika. Toward the end of his life he immigrated to Ereẓ Israel. He was the author of Ben Porat Yosef (Salonika, 1797) on the Shulḥan Arukh. On several occasions he traveled abroad on missions for Jerusalem. He was the father of (7), but is identified by some as father of (6). (5) raphael Ḥayyim abraham (d. 1792), chief rabbi of Salonika from 1772. He wrote Ḥayyei Abraham (Salonika, n. d.), consisting of responsa on Jacob b. Asher's Tur. (6) isaac ben hezekiah joseph called bekhor (d. 1807), dayyan. From Salonika he went to Jerusalem where he studied Talmud under Samuel Meyuḥas, the author of Peri ha-Adamah. He later became a member of Yom Tov Algazi's bet din. His signature appears on halakhic rulings, and on the takkanot of Jerusalem. (7) isaac ben joseph hezekiah, called morenu (1770–1854). In 1805 he went to Turkey as an emissary of Jerusalem. In his old age he returned to Ereẓ Israel and in 1848 was appointed hakham bashi in Jerusalem. In 1854, at the age of 83, he set out as an emissary of Jerusalem to Egypt and died in Alexandria. On an earlier mission he visited Germany. His writings have remained in manuscript. A brochure by him, entitled Degel Maḥaneh on the Maḥaneh Efrayim of Ephraim Navon, was published in the Ateret Zahav (vol. 2, Jerusalem, 1898) of Isaac Badhav. (8) raphael asher (1799–1875), chief rabbi and rosh yeshivah at Salonika. He was the author of responsa Sha'ar Aḥer (2 pts., 1877–79). (9) jacob joseph (d. 1899), rabbinic scholar and dayyan at Salonika. (10) judah (d. 1907), chief rabbi of Salonika. He worked for the development of Jewish settlement in Ereẓ Israel and was the author of Yehudah Ya'aleh. (11) jacob hananiah (1825–1907), chief rabbi of Salonika, where he established a yeshivah called Bet Yosef and a talmud torah. He was greatly respected by the Turkish authorities by whom he was decorated several times.
Frumkin-Rivlin, 3 (1929), 39f., 126, 185, 274, 278f.; supplement, 90; M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Mizraḥ be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 2 (1938), 615–7, 748; Ya'ari, Sheluḥei, index.