Moroccan Jewish

Zak Abel

by Manila on April 3, 2018

Birth Name: Zak David Zilesnick

Place of Birth: Kensington & Chelsea, London, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 1 March, 1995

Ethnicity: Sephardi Jewish, Ashkenazi Jewish

Zak Abel is a British musician.

His father was Moroccan Jewish, who moved to Israel. His mother, Rachel H. Zilesnick, is English Jewish.

Zak’s maternal grandfather is Harold Zilesnick (the son of Samuel “Sam” Zilesnick and Mary Bardofsky). Samuel was a Ukrainian Jewish emigrant, from Kiev, and was the son of Hyman Zilesnick and Miriam Kaplan. Mary was the daughter of Russian Jewish emigrants, Israel Bardofsky and Sarah Basia Sorrel.

Zak’s maternal grandmother is Ann S. Zola (the daughter of Joseph Zola and Minnie Derfield). Joseph was the son of a Polish Jewish emigrant, Morris Zola, of Warsaw, and of Kate Emanuel, who was also of Polish Jewish descent. Minnie was the daughter of Henry “Harry” Derfield, whose own parents, Aaron Derfler (later Derfield) and Rachel Levy, were Austrian Jewish and German Jewish emigrants, respectively, and of a Polish Jewish emigrant, Rose “Rosy” Appelbaum.

Zak’s matrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his third great-grandmother, Shinah Leibah “Jeanette/Jenetta/Janet/Georgina” Marchant (c. 1853, Poland – 1937, Stepney, London).

Sources: News article about Zak’s ancestry –

Birth record of Zak Abel –

Birth record of Zak’s mother –

Marriage record of Zak’s maternal grandparents, Harold Zilesnick and Ann S. Zola –

Genealogy of Zak’s maternal grandfather, Harold Zilesnick –

Birth record of Zak’s maternal grandfather, Harold Zilesnick –

Birth record of Zak’s maternal grandmother, Ann S. Zola –

Marriage record of Zak’s maternal great-grandparents, Joseph Zola and Minnie Derfield –

Zak’s maternal great-grandfather, Joseph Zola, on the 1911 England and Wales Census –

Marriage record of Zak’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Morris Zola and Kate Emanuel –

Birth record of Zak’s maternal great-grandmother, Minnie Derfield –

Marriage record of Zak’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Harry Derfield and Rose Appelbaum –


Michael Benaroya

by stlucas on December 9, 2017

Birth Name: Michael J. Benaroya

Place of Birth: Seattle, Washington, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 23, 1981

Ethnicity: Sephardi Jewish, possibly other

Michael Benaroya is an American film producer.

Michael is the son of Sherry-Lee and Larry R. Benaroya. Michael’s father is Sephardi Jewish. His ancestors hailed from Lebanon, Turkey, and Morocco.

Michael’s paternal grandfather was civil leader and philanthropist Jack Albert Benaroya (the son of Albert Benaroya and Rachel Cohen). Jack was born in Alabama, to Lebanese Jewish parents.

Michael’s paternal grandmother was Rebecca/Rebeca “Becky” Benoun (the daughter of Joe Benoun/Bennoun and Dona/Dorothy Adatto). Joe was born in Turkey. Dona was also born in Turkey, the daughter of Joseph/Yosef/Yosefachi Adatto and Veda Neamachi.

Sources: Genealogy of Michael Benaroya (focusing on his father’s side) –

Obituary of Michael’s paternal grandfather, Jack Albert Benaroya –

Genealogy of Michael’s paternal grandmother, Rebecca/Rebeca “Becky” (Benoun) Benaroya (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Michael’s paternal grandmother, Rebecca/Rebeca “Becky” Benoun, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Michael’s paternal great-aunt (grandmother’s sister), Rita (Benoun) Piha –

Photo by kathclick/


Ari Stidham

by stlucas on December 7, 2017

Birth Name: Ariel David Stidham

Place of Birth: Westlake Village, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: August 22, 1992

*Sephardi Jewish (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Ari Stidham is an American actor and musician.

Ari is the son of Robin Ann (Margolis) and David John Stidham. Ari’s parents are Jewish; Ari’s father is said to be of Sephardi Jewish descent (with roots in Morocco) and Ari’s mother has Russian Jewish ancestry.

Ari’s paternal grandmother was named Lily.

Ari’s maternal grandfather was Allan B. Margolis.

Ari’s maternal grandmother is Florida politician Gwen Margolis (born Gwen Liedman; the daughter of Joseph Liedman and Rose Weiss). Joseph was the son of Louis Leidman and Sadie, who were from Russia. Rose was the daughter of Harry Weiss and Sophie, who were also from Russia.

Sources: Birth record of Ari Stidham –

Obituary of Ari’s paternal step-grandfather, Gordon Kent –

Ari’s maternal grandmother, Gwen (Liedman) Margolis, on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Photo by kathclick/


Marc Bendavid

by madman on December 3, 2017

Marc Bendavid – TheWrap’s 2nd Annual Emmy Party – Arrivals – The London Hotel – West Hollywood, CA, USA – Photo Credit: 

Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date of Birth: 1986

*Sephardi Jewish (father)
*Belgian/Flemish (mother)

Marc Bendavid is a Canadian actor. His father is Moroccan Jewish and his mother is Belgian Flemish.


Michael Benyaer

by stlucas on September 8, 2017

Michael Benyaer – Pre-Grammy Party for 2014 Grammy Nominee Trevor Guthrie – Arrivals – Acabar – Los Angeles, CA, USA – Photo Credit: Carla Van Wagoner / PR Photos

Place of Birth: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Date of Birth: May 25, 1970

*Sephardi Jewish (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Michael Benyaer is a Canadian-American actor.

Michael is the son of Nancy Ruth (Klein) and Maurice Benyaer.

Michael’s parents were Jewish; Michael’s father was born in Marrakesh, Morocco, and had Sephardi roots. Michael’s mother was born in Connecticut, U.S., and has Hungarian Jewish roots.

Michael’s maternal grandparents were Frank Klein and Dorothy Lang. Frank was from Hungary. Dorothy was born in New York, to parents from Hungary, Samuel Lang and Sarah Weiss.

Sources: Obituary of Michael’s father –

Obituary of Michael’s maternal great-aunt, Irene (Klein) Davis –

Michael’s mother on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Michael’s maternal grandmother on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Death record of Michael’s maternal grandmother –