I am a married Silicon Valley technology executive with over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience in turn-arounds, start-ups and shut-downs. I have lived in Silicon Valley for 20 years. I hold a couple of patents and wrote a bunch of article for techie magazines.
This blog is my small way of illustrating that being a business leader, technologist AND religious Sephardic Jew are not mutually exclusive terms.
Science, logic and religion were harmonized nearly 1,000 years ago…only to be set aside by people who prefer religious superstition, visceral fear and physical force to control others. I’ve had my Y-DNA and mt-DNA fully sequenced, sliced and diced in order to uncover hints of my ancestry through SNP analysis. Regardless of how I cut it – roughly
1.5% African (Sudan, East Horn of Africa, UAE and Levantine)
0.5% Far East Asian (Han)
98% mixture of Mediterranean Europe and Northeastern Europe (Iberian, Catalonia, Bretagne, Amalfi, Belarus, Poland).
When my ancestors fled the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, they avoided the Shabbatai Tzvi controversy, esoteric textual interpretation (Kabbalah), and pogroms…maintaining their Rationalist Tradition as they traveled through Turkey, Poland, Amsterdam, on their way to the Western Hemisphere. My Maternal ancestors, Kosher Vintners, landed in Croatia (Split) then spread out into Bosnia, Serbia and Slovenia where they stayed until the Balkan Wars of 1912/13.
Prior to the Inquisition, my Paternal ancestors were highly educated court Jews and Viziers of Spanish and Portuguese Royalty. Before arriving in Spain, they were part of the Radhanite Trade Network operating in Major cities and ports of the Mediterranean – in Kairouan (Tunisia), Fostat (Egypt), Constantini (Algeria) and headquartered in Ramleh (Palestine).
My Paternal family has been in the Western Hemisphere for over 350 years having worked for Sir Hans Sloane, John Custis IV, and Sir Artur Rawdon to commercially exploit Caribbean botanical specimens of cocoa, cotton, tobacco and fruits. They came ashore to Colonial Virginia in 1790. In my family tree, I count the following people as distant cousins
- Sir Isaac Newton, – 6th cousin, 10 times removed
- Dom Diego Gómez de Toledo, I señor de Casarrubios y Valdepusa, 19th great grandfather.
- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, 3rd cousin 12 times removed
- Alfonso Pimentel, III conde de Benavente, 3rd cousin 17 times removed
- General Robert E. Lee (CSA), 6th cousin, 7 times removed
- James Madison, 4th President of the USA, 3rd cousin 7 times removed through Herring Line
- Gov. John Langdon, Signer of the US Constitution, 4th cousin 8 times removed through Lamm Line
- Capt. Abraham Lincoln, Sr. (Continental Army Patriot), 6th great grandfather.
- Abraham Lincoln, – 1st cousin, 6 times removed through the Herring line
- Dinis I, “o Justo”, Rei de Portugal, 2nd cousin 20 times removed
- Joao Moises Benabides Dinis, (Juan Dionis), Kahal Kadosh Beth Shalome, 6th Great-Grandfather.
- Lord George Gordon, 9th cousin five times removed
- Hanah Hoerring of Amsterdam, 10th great grandmother
- Gracia Abigail De Falacios De Nis (alias Yahia), 12th great aunt
- Dr. Binjamin Musaphia “Dionysius” (Dinis), 2nd cousin, 11 times removed
- Dia Sánchez de Benavides, III señor de Santisteban del Puerto, 6th cousin 17 times removed.
- Don Diego de Benavides and Cueba, VIII. Count of Santisteban, Marques de Solera, 7th cousin 14 times removed.
- Sir Walter Raleigh, 5th cousin, 14 times removed
- Sir Arthur Rawdon, 7th cousin 11 times removed
- Sir Francis Drake, 1st cousin 17 times removed
- Capt Thomas William Todd, Sr., 2nd cousin, 14 times removed- he is also my wife’s 9th great-grandfather.
- Aloandro Iacobo Diniz (ibn Yahya) – 10th great-Grandfather
- Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, 3rd cousin 16 times removed
- Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Baronet, 5th cousin, 12 times removed
- General George Washington, 1st President of the USA, 8th cousin, 10 times removed
- Menasseh Ben Israel (Manoel Dias Soeiro),
- President James Buchanan, 6th Great-Uncle
- Don Franco de Tebary Cordova (da Milao), 3rd cousin, 10 times removed
- President George H. W. Bush, 7th cousin, 3 times removed
- Senor Tomas Trebino de Sobremonte, 8th cousin, 10 times removed
- Don Yehuda Hiyya Abravanel, of Salonika, 4th cousin, 13 times removed
- Don Todros Moshe Nabarro (ibn Yahya) Arrabi-Maior de Santarem, under King Pedro I, 19th Great Uncle
- Governor Benjamin Harrison, signer of Declaration of Independence, 4th cousin, 9 times removed
- President Benjamin Harrison, 7th cousin, 6 times removed
- Pedro Teixeira, senhor de Teixeira, 5th cousin 18 times removed
- Hakham Samuel Palache, 12th Great-Aunt’s nephew
- President William Henry Harrison, 5th cousin, 8 times removed
- Jaime I “el Conquistador”, King of Aragón, 22nd Great-Grandfather
- Don Yosef Mendes Nasi – Duke of Naxos, 2nd cousin, 13 times removed
- Tzvi Eliezer ben David Charlap (חרל”פ) (ibn Yahya), 6th cousin 9 times removed
- Alvaro Mendes da Costa (Solomon ibn Ya’ish), Duke of Mytilene, 11th cousin 13 times removed
- Jacques I, King of Cyprus, 5th cousin 18 times removed
- Don David Negro, 18th Great-Grandfather.
- Pedro de Menezes, 1º conde de Vila Real, 6th cousin 16 times removed
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, 8th cousin, 8 times removed
- George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly, 15th great uncle.
- Mary I, Queen of Scots, 4th cousin, 12 times removed
- James the 1st, Stewart, King of Scots – 15th Great-Grandfather through Buchanan line
- Rabbi Shlomo Caspi, 16th Great-Uncle
- Don Frederic Alfonso, I, Lord of Haro, – 19th Great-Uncle
- Don Yahya “El Negro”, 23rd Great-Grandfather
- Fernão Gonçalves Chancino, 23rd Great-Grandfather
- Abū ʿAmr Yosef Ibn Qamni’el, haRoffe & Emissary to Afonso Henriques, 2nd cousin, 27 times removed.
- Makhir ibn Habibi al-Narboni, Nasi ,
- Count Sisnando Davidiz, 28th Great-Uncle
- Rodrigo ‘el Cid’ Díaz de Vivar, Príncipe de Valencia – 26th Great-Grandfather
- Yekuthiel ben Isaac Ibn Ḥasan, Dayyan al-Zaragoza, 2nd cousin 32 times removed.
- Abu Sa’id Yaḥyā Nissim ben Nahray Ibn al-Majjānī, – 3rd Cousin, 28 times removed
- Ṣāʿid al-Andalusī, Qaḍī of Cordoba & Toledo – 27th Great-Grandfather
- Abū al-Ya’ish Mujāhid al-Muwaffaq, Emir al-Denia – 28th Great-grandfather
- Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Yaʿīs̲h̲ al-Asadī, Qadi of Toledo, Vizier of Seville, 28th Great-Grandfather
- Abū ʿImrān Moshe ben Labrat Ibn Sughmār, haDayyan al-Mahdiyya, 1st cousin, 27 times removed
- Abu Isḥāq Ibrahim Sahl ibn al-Nag’hdīlah ibn Ata al-yahūdī al-Mahdiyya, Negid al-Galut ‘Mar Sahl’, 30th Great-Grandfather
- Abū ʾl-ʿAlā Israel ben Shmuel HaGaon haKohen, haNagid, 30th Great Uncle
- Yehudai ‘Habibai’ ben Natronai, Exilarch of Pumbeditha & Carcassonne-Narbonne, 4th cousin, 30 times removed.
- Abū Sahl Nathan ben Abraham ben Saul, student of of Ḥushiel ben Elḥanan, 30th Great-Uncle.
- David ‘ben Zakkai II” ben Daniel ben Azariah, Gaon of Palestine Yeshiva of Fustat, 4th cousin, 30 times removed.
- Saʿadyā ben Yōsēf, Gaon of Sura סעדיה גאון, first cousin 32 times removed