Jacob Safra

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Jacob Safra (Arabic: يعقوب صفرا‎) was a Lebanese Sephardi Jewish banker from Lebanon.[1][2][3] The Safras were bankers and gold traders engaged in the financing of trade between Aleppo, Istanbul and Alexandria.[4]


When the Ottoman Empire fell apart, Jacob Safra, the former partner in Safra Freres, set up a separate banking business under his own name in Beirut in the year 1920. With its base in the Lebanon, the Jacob E. Safra Bank became the bank of choice for many of Syria's and Lebanon's rich Sephardic Jewish families, who trusted the Safras to manage their business and personal financial interests with care and discretion. In 1952, he moved to Brazil with his four sons: Elie Safra, Edmond Safra, Joseph Safra, and Moise Safra. They founded a Brazilian financial institution in 1955. However, in 1920 he founded in his homeland, Lebanon, Beirut, Banque de Credit National, one of the five oldest banks in Lebanon.

Personal life[edit]

Safra married his cousin, Esther. They had four sons: Elie, Edmond, Joseph, and Moise; and four daughters: Evelyn, Gabi, Arlette, and Ughette.[5] Safra Square in Jerusalem is named in honor of him and his wife.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Romero, Simon (1999-12-08). "INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS; The Safras of Brazil: Banking, Faith and Security". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  2. ^ Zenner, Walter P. (2000). A Global Community: The Jews from Aleppo, Syria. Wayne State University Press. p. 102. ISBN 0-8143-2791-5. 
  3. ^ "Celebrities in Switzerland: Edmond Safra Biography"
  4. ^ "Edmond J. Safra". Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  5. ^ Veja: "Final trágico - Um dos maiores banqueiros do mundo, Edmond Safra morre asfixiado num assalto" by Eliana Simonetti August 12, 1999 (in Portuguese) | "Caou-se com uma prima, Esther, e teve oito filhos: quatro homens, Elie, Edmond, Joseph e Moise, e quatro mulheres, uma delas, Evelyn, mãe do antigo dono do banco Excel Econômico, brasileiro, Ezequiel Nasser. As outras três são Gabi, Arlette e Ughette."