The Sephardic Heritage (Edited Series) ***New in 2024***

In an era of increasing globalisation and immigration from Latin America to North America and Europe, it is often overlooked that alongside the Ashkenazi, i.e. European, heritage of Judaism, the Jewish world also has its “Latin” component, the Ladino-speaking Jewish communities that lived side by side with Christians and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula before being expelled from Spain in 1492. After this initial catastrophe of the Jewish communities of the Iberian Peninsula, which meant the expulsion of at least 200,000 Jews, the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II received no less than 60,000 Spanish-speaking Jews, the Sephardim, in the territory of the Ottoman Empire at that time. Others fled to many different countries, including the Netherlands. Since then, Sephardic Jews have played a prominent role in the history of Judaism and the development of the Atlantic region, and during the Shoah, Sephardic Jews suffered terrible persecution, especially in the Balkans. From the philosopher Baruch de Spinoza to the poet Elias Canetti, Sephardic Jews have made an important contribution to world culture, and in contemporary Israel, politicians and military and/or intelligence figures such as Shlomo Ben Ami, Gadi Eisenkot, Tamir Pardo and Miri Regev are of Sephardic origin. Sephardic culture, music and the Ladino language are attracting worldwide and growing attention, and major centres of academic research and learning such as the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, the University of Basel in Switzerland, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford, the SAS Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of New Brunswick (Rutgers, NB, CND) offer courses in the Sephardic Ladino language and culture. The series presents portraits of Sephardic life, experience and thought, and does not exclude the painful experiences of Sephardic people today in an era of growing global anti-Semitism.

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