MELDOLA, Sephardi family of rabbis and scholars. The family originated in the 15th century in Meldola, northern Italy; the legend that they descended from Spanish exiles cannot be substantiated. The first of the family to attain prominence was JACOB MELDOLA, rabbi in Mantua in the 16th century. His son SAMUEL MELDOLA or MENDOLA was both a rabbinic scholar and physician to the Mantuan court. In the next generation members of the family settled in Leghorn, entering thus into the tradition of Sephardi life. For the next 200 years they provided rabbis, printers, and leaders to the Sephardi communities in Holland, Italy, France, and England. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Castelli, I banchi feneratizi ebraici nel Mantovano… (1959), index; Mortara, Indice, 38; Ghirondi-Neppi, 79, 311, 355–7. (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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