Centre for Samaritan Studies, Nablus
Population Survey Commissioned
Population in Nablus
The Last 12 Years
Next Generation

A.B The Samaritan News summarises the survey of the natural increase in population of the Samaritan Community in the years 1954-2013.

Centre for Samaritan Studies, Nablus

Chaver-Samir Hadinfi, chairman of The Centre for Samaritan Studies in Nablus, edited the survey. The centre is located under the synagogue in the Samaritan neighbourhood. The original tenants  abandoned it at the end of the 1990s, moving to Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim. Subsequently, Palestinian welfare organisations rented most of the houses in the Samaritan neighbourhood in Nablus. Four or five houses remain unlet, but the original tenants do not intend to return there. In part, the expansion of the community on Mount Gerizim is due to Samaritans leaving the neighbourhood in Nablus. Meanwhile, the work of The Centre for Samaritan Studies continues.
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Population Survey Commissioned

Chaver-Samir Sirrawi Hadinfi

Chaver-Samir Sirrawi Hadinfi, Priest Pinhas ben Tsadiq, and Maher Altif Hadinfi, together with their wives, run the Centre. Their main activity is to inform the Arabs of Nablus about the Samaritans. Sometimes, individuals or groups of Arabs from beyond Nablus and Samaria visit the Centre. Our last visit highlighted the need to clean and preserve the surroundings and the entrance. The Centre itself still contains study materials, illustrations and copies of Samaritan manuscripts. The Centre is registered with the Palestinian Department of Charities. From time to time, Palestinian Authority grants and private donations help to keep the Centre working.

A.B The Samaritan News commissioned the Centre‘s latest project: a survey of the increase in population of the Israelite Samaritan community. The survey covers the entire population in Holon, Israel, and on Mount Gerizim and Nablus under the Palestinian Authority, during the period 1954-2013.

This period covers the natural increase in numbers of the Holon community following The Six Day War, in June 1967. The increase was partly the result of natural population growth, and partly due to the influx of 25 Samaritan families, who moved from Nablus to Holon after June 1967.

Also, 20 Jewish and 10 non-Jewish girls celebrated marriage to Samaritan boys from the Holon community during that period. The community expelled 29 individuals: 11 males and 18 females.

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Population in Nablus

On 1 January 1954 the Samaritan community in Holon numbered only 87 individuals.

However, by 1 January 2009 the community numbered 382 individuals, an increase of 439%.

On 1 January 1954 the Samaritan community in Nablus numbered 226 individuals.

By 1 January 2009 the population had risen to 341 individuals.

In the Nablus community the relatively small increase of 151% is mostly due to the migration of the 25 families from Nablus to Holon after June 1967.

On 1 January 1954 the Israelite Samaritans in Nablus and Holon numbered 313 individuals. Of these, 162 were male and 151 were female.

As well as the increase in numbers, the survey reveals a positive development in the birth ratio of males to females:

In the first two decades of the survey, the number of males to females was 103 : 69 (a ratio of 1.49 : 1)

However, in the next two decades the numbers increased to 107 : 86 (a ratio of 1.24 : 1). During the last 15 years the number of males to females aged from 1 to 15 years was almost equal, at 100 : 94 (a ratio of 1.06 : 1)

Samaritan Funeral
Samaritan Funeral
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The Last 12 Years

Looking only at the last 12 years: the ratio fell slightly, 83 males: 82 females, (giving a ratio of 1.01: 1)

The following figures relate to the survey made by High Priest Yitzhaq ben Amram (held office from 1917 to 1932).

On 1 March 1919 the Israelite Samaritans numbered 140. Of this total 80 were male and 60 were female.

On 1 January 2013 the Israelite-Samaritans numbered 756: 357 in Kiriat Luza and 399 in Holon.

Of this total, 399 were male and 357 were female.

Therefore, the total number of community members increased by 536% between 1919 and 2013.

Survey editor Samir Hadinfi, 62, a retired employee of the Palestinian Statistics Bureau, commented: “The survey shows the recovery of the Samaritan Community, and its gradual approach to the world average of 49% males to 51% females (a ratio of 0.96 : 1)”.

The Chaver-Samir Sirrawi Hadinfi survey made use of the community register that is still edited continuously by Zebulan Altif, one of the heads of the Mount Gerizim community.

Presented by A.B.The Samaritan News, 15 January 2013


See also Families


Samaritan HISTORY


Choir and MUSIC


Samaritan RELIGION




Photography: Ori Orhof



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3 Responses

  1. Claudio Dachi

    Gostaria de saber se tenho origem samaritana através de meu sobrenome Dachi que vieram da Siria,passaram pela Italia e chegaram ao Uruguay e ao Brasil?

    I wonder if I am of Samaritan origin through my surname Dachi, which came from Syria, passed through Italy and arrived in Uruguay and Brazil?

  2. Russell Altif


    I’m trying to go through my family history and I wanted to see if their might be some relation to the samaritans because of the last name.
    My name is Russ Altif and I live in the United States.
    My great grandparents came here from syria.
    I would appreciate any information you might have about the name.

    • Benny

      Shalom Russell,
      I would really like to meet you while on my next annual visit to Europe and the USA. It will be the 33rd since 1982. This time my schedule is divided between New York City, Connecticut, Washington DC, Pittsburg, Seattle, Lexington, Cincinnati, Ohio and San Francisco. Then I head to Sao Paulo, Brazil. See where the nearest place to your home is, to come and meet me. Your family name is rare because it was created at the beginning of the 18th century from the nickname of one of the fathers of the Dinfi family, the last member of that family to escape from a pogrom inflicted on the Damascus Samaritans in 1625. Since then the family of Dinfi grew to be the largest household of the Israelite Samaritan Community today. As for Altif himself, his name was ‘Abdalla b. Yaqob ElDinfi. The nickname Altif means ‘handsome’. Some of his successors were forcibly converted to Islam. The Altif family is the keeper of the Islamic sanctuaries in East Jerusalem. (Hannah will send you my contact details)

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