Soletreo is the written alphabet of Ladino (also known as Judezmo or Judeo-Spanish), the endangered language of Sephardic Jews. Soletreo uses the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, but appears slightly different from Hebrew script. Very few places around the world offer formal academic instruction in writing soletreo or speaking Ladino. Now, however, anyone can watch this unique soletreo tutorial with world-renowned Ladino expert Prof. David M. Bunis!
Available online. Moses Almosnino (1518-1580), arguably the most famous Ottoman Sephardi writer and the only one who was known in Europe to both Jews and Christians, became renowned for his vernacular books that were admired by Ladino readers across many generations. While Almosnino's works were written in a style similar to contemporaneous Castilian, Olga Borovaya makes a strong argument for including them in the corpus of Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) literature. Borovaya suggests that the history of Ladino literature begins at least 200 years earlier than previously believed and that Ladino, like most other languages, had more than one functional style. With careful historical work, Borovaya establishes a new framework for thinking about Ladino language and literature and the early history of European print culture.
After expulsion from Spain in 1492, a large number of Spanish Jews (Sephardim) found refuge in lands of the Ottoman Empire. These Jews continued speaking a Spanish that, due to their isolation from Spain, developed independently in the empire from the various peninsular dialects. This language, called Judeo-Spanish (among other names), is the focus of Death of a Language, a sociolinguistic study describing the development of Judeo-Spanish from 1492 to the present, its characteristics, survival, and decline. To determine the current status of the language, Tracy K. Harris interviewed native Judeo-Spanish speakers from the sephardic communities of New York, Israel, and Los Angeles. This study analyzes the informants' use of the language, the characteristics of their speech, and the role of the language in Sephardic ethnicity.
"Judeo-Spanish and the Making of a Community brings together scholars and activists from around the world, all of whom have participated in and presented original research at the annual ucLADINO Judeo-Spanish Symposia. This collection addresses a number of linguistic, historical, and cultural matters pertinent to the Sephardim in different lands from the fifteenth century to the present day. Essays in this volume reveal how Sephardim from various parts of the world - Turkey, the Balkans, Morocco, and the United States - culturally and linguistically position themselves among each other, among other Jews, and among their non-Jewish co-regionalists. Contributors explore how the rich history of the Sephardim has allowed for the development, maintenance, endangerment, and even revitalization of the Judeo-Spanish language(s)."
This unique book is the first Ladino dictionary for English speakers! Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo, was the language spoken by the Sephardic Jews who settled in the Ottoman Empire after their expulsion from Spain in the 15th century. Definitions include word origins, the cultural context of expressions, and usage, making the book an invaluable reference tool for anyone interested in Romance and Oriental languages and/or Jewish culture.
Available online. In this pathbreaking book, Matthias B. Lehmann explores Ottoman Sephardic culture in an era of change through a close study of popularized rabbinic texts written in Ladino, the vernacular language of the Ottoman Jews. This vernacular literature, standing at the crossroads of rabbinic elite and popular cultures and of Hebrew and Ladino discourses, sheds valuable light on the modernization of Sephardic Jewry in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 19th century. By helping to form a Ladino reading public and imparting shape to its values, the authors of this literature negotiated between perpetuating rabbinic tradition and addressing the challenges of modernity. The book offers close readings of works that examine issues such as social inequality, exile and diaspora, gender, secularization, and the clash between scientific and rabbinic knowledge.
Available online. Through the poetry of Bouena Sarfatty (1916-1997), An Ode to Salonika sketches the life and demise of the Sephardi Jewish community that once flourished in this Greek crossroads city. A resident of Salonika who survived the Holocaust as a partisan and later settled in Canada, Sarfatty preserved the traditions and memories of this diverse and thriving Sephardi community in some 500 Ladino poems known as coplas. The coplas also describe the traumas the community faced under German occupation before the Nazis deported its Jewish residents to Auschwitz. The coplas in Ladino and in Renée Levine Melammed's English translation are framed by chapters that trace the history of the Sephardi community in Salonika and provide context for the poems. This unique and moving source provides a rare entrée into a once vibrant world now lost.
This volume is a multidisciplinary contribution to Sephardic studies, including chapters by some of the best-known authorities in the field, interspersed with those of young scholars who have begun making their mark in current research. The text aims to enrich this emerging field through historical linguistic studies as well as investigations based on contemporary movements, recent literary creations, and the issues involved in contemporary revival.
Spanning two centuries, an intricately woven collection of stories and novellas journeys across landscapes of yearning, awakening, loss, and unexpected discovery as the lives of extraordinary characters unfold in a borderland between science and passion.