The name of a number of Spanish- and Portuguese-Jewish (Sephardic) families in Amsterdam and London. The first person to assume it was the Marano Francisco Nuñez Pereyra, who fled from Spain through dread of the Inquisition at the beginning of the seventeenth century and settled in Amsterdam, where he married his cousin Justa Pereyra. The children born of this marriage died, and, their death being attributed by his wife to the fact that he had not been received into the Covenant of Abraham, they separated until that rite was performed. He took the name David Abendana, and was one of the founders of the first synagogue in Amsterdam. He died Feb. 14, 1625. He left two sons, Manuel and Abraham. Manuel was ḥakam of the Amsterdam congregation and died June 15, 1667, having contributed much to the spiritual edification of his brethren. Besides those mentioned below, the names of other members of the Abendana family will be found in the lists at the end of D. H. de Castro, "De Synagogue de Portugeesch-Israelietisch Gemeente te Amsterdam, 1875." There is a modern Spanish name "Abendann" ("Jew. Quart. Rev." x. 520).

Seal of the Abendana Family.(From the Archives of the Amsterdam Portuguese Congregation.)Aaron ben Samuel Costa Abendana:

A proofreader in Amsterdam about 1726-30.

Abraham di Costa Abendana:

A member of the Talmudic academy 'Eẓ Ḥayyim in Amsterdam in 1751.

Daniel Abendana:

A brother of Jacob and Isaac Abendana, and author of an apologetic work dedicated to Isaac Levi Ximenes, bearing the title, "Respuesta á las Proposiciones de uno que Siendo de la Nacion Judaica por se Mostrar tan Católico Cristiano" (Manuscript in the Stadtbibliothek at Hamburg).

Isaac Ḥayyim de Brito Abendana:

Ḥakam of the Portuguese community in Amsterdam, where he died at the great age of one hundred years, April 5, 1760. He published "Sermão Exhortatoria," Amsterdam, 1753. He was at the head of the Talmudical academy 'Eẓ Ḥayyim, known in Spanish as Árbol de las Vidas. Assisted by his colleagues, Solomon Ayllon and David Israel Athias, and byhis successors, Solomon Salem and David Cohen d' Azevedo, he took part in the preparation of a collection of rabbinical decisions, which appeared in nine volumes published in Amsterdam in 1732 and 1733, under the title "Peri 'Eẓ Ḥayyim" (Fruits of the Tree of Life).

  • Monatsschrift, ix. 34;
  • Kayserling, in Rev. Ét. Juives, xiii. 272;
  • idem, in Steinschneider-Festschrift, pp. 89, 90.
M. K.
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