Sarfati (Hebrew: צרפתי; [tsaʁfaˈti], variously transliterated and spelled Sarfatti, Sarphati, Serfaty, Sarfaty, Sarfity, Zarfati, Tsarfati, Tzarfati) is a Sephardic Jewish surname. The surname literally means "French" in the Hebrew language, and is derived from the Biblical placename Tzarfat which in later times was identified in Jewish tradition as France.
One account places the origin of the surname as being linked to Rashi by way of his grandson Rabbeinu Tam, but the connection, although anchored in the Ketubot traditions has never been fully proven due to a seven generations gap in the genealogy after Jews were expelled from France by Philippe le Bel in 1306.
At any case, numerous bearers of this name (whose ancestors came from France) lived in various parts of the Iberian Peninsula during the 14th-15th centuries: they appear in Spanish and Portuguese documents under the spellings Sarfati and Çarfati. During the 15th century and especially after the expulsion of Jews from these countries (1490s) some branches migrated from the Iberian Peninsula to North Africa, while others to the city of Rome and the Ottoman Empire.
Notable people with the surname include:
- Georges-Elia Sarfati, philosopher, linguist, poet, and an existentialist psychoanalyst
- Jonathan Sarfati (born 1964), Australian–New Zealander chess player and creationist author
- Lea Michele Sarfati (born 1986), American singer and actress, Broadway performer and star of TV show "Glee"
- Lise Sarfati (born 1958), French photographer
- Lydia Sarfati, Polish-born American esthetician, entrepreneur, consultant and author
- Samuel Sarfati (died c. 1519), Italian physician to Popes Alexander VI and Julius II
- Sonia Sarfati (born 1960), French author and journalist
- Anna Sarfatti (born 1950), Italian writer of children's books
- Jack Sarfatti (born 1939), American theoretical physicist and writer
- Margherita Sarfatti (1880–1961), Italian journalist and lover of Benito Mussolini
- Riccardo Sarfatti (born 1940), Italian architect and politician in Lombardy
- Gretta Sarfaty Marchant (born 1947), British-Brazilian artist and curator
- Regina Sarfaty (born 1934), American operatic mezzo-soprano
- Samuel Sarphati (1813–1866), Dutch physician and city planner
- Abraham Serfaty (1926–2010), Moroccan dissident
- Abraham Serfaty (Gibraltarian), former Mayor of Gibraltar
- Christine Daure-Serfaty (1926–2014), French-Moroccan activist
- Dan Serfaty (born 1966) is a French entrepreneur and businessman
- Isaac Chocrón Serfaty (1930-2011), Venezuelan playwright
- Rosalinda Serfaty (born 1969), Argentine-born Venezuelan actress
- Sylvia Serfaty, French Mathematician, winner of the 2004 EMS Prize for her contributions to the Ginzburg–Landau theory
- Willa Vasquez Serfaty, Gibraltarian artist
- Olry Terquem (1782–1862), who wrote under the pseudonym "Tsarphati"
- Sephardim.com: Translated Names Archived 2003-10-11 at the Wayback Machine.
- Hassarfati Family Tree: Etsi - Sephardi Genealogy and History - Issue #29, Vol.8 - June 2005
- The Hassafati Family - Etsi - Sephardi Genealogy and History - Issue #29, Vol.8 - June 2005
- Beider, A. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Maghreb, Gibraltar, and Malta, New Haven, CN: Avotaynu, 2017
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