It is with great sadness that I inform the IGRA, Sephardi and Jewish genealogy communities that Mathilde Tagger has passed away. For those in Jerusalem, the funeral will be on Sunday, December 28 at 15:00 at the Sephardi Funeral home at the Givat Shaul cemetery.
Mathilde was active in genealogy in Israel from close to its inception right up to this past Wednesday when she volunteered at the Genealogy Center in the National Library of Israel. She has been a force of nature – working against an internal clock to index as much information as possible, to prepare databases and write books. Her specialty was Sephardic research and anything to do with names (onomastics) in the Sephardic world. She gave generously of her time and knowledge.
Seven years ago Mathilde undertook to coordinate a massive project together with Billie Stein and Rose Feldman. They were assisted by 31 volunteers and have worked diligently for years to digitize, index, translate and make available the five Montefiore Censuses that were done of the Middle East. These can now be accessed in both Hebrew and English on the Montefiore Endowment Fund website.
Mathilde was honored twice by the IAJGS. The first time, in 2007, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award and this past summer the Montefiore project received the IAJGS Program Award. As Mathilde was not able to be in Salt Lake City, on December 7, 2014 Mathilde received her award at a ceremony in Jerusalem in the presence of many friends and most importantly – her family. She then described the process they followed with this digitization project. Her lecture is available now on this website.
Mathilde has made many, many contributions to the world of Jewish genealogy and will be sorely missed.
May her memory be for a blessing.