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Azoulay, sometimes spelled Azoulai, Azulay, Azulai, Azoolai (Hebrew: אזולאי[1]), etc. is a Sephardic Jewish surname, common among Jews of French, North African, Israeli, and Canadian background, descended from Spanish exiles and more rarely, non-Jewish Arabs.

The source of the name is debated. Some have linked it to the Spanish phrase 'ojos azules' (blue eyes). Some linguists argue that it is an acronym of a passage from the bible "They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane" (Leviticus 21:7), indicating that the Azoulay name-bearers are members of the Kohen sub-tribe.[2] Others claimed that the name is of Berber origin, and is derived from the Berber word "izil" (meaning "Good"). Finally, it's been claimed that "Azoulay" is of Arab origin. [3]


Azoulay family of Fes[edit]

Azoulay, when spelled Azulai, is the name of a notable Jewish family descended from Spanish exiles who, after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and following decades, settled in the city of Fez, Morocco. The family includes:


Note that all of these individuals spell it differently than did those from the above rabbinical family.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ minus the Aleph before the Yud, which is the actual acronym from the biblical phrase, and is how the Hida, Chaim Joseph David Azulai, spelled it
  2. ^ Kohen is a sub-tribe of the Levite tribe.
  3. ^
  4. ^