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4th ucladino Judeo-Spanish Symposium

MARCH 4, 2015 | 11:15 AM 




Moderated by: Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Maurice Amado Chair In Sephardic Studies And Professor Of History



Living Ladino 

Metin Samrano

I will give a short talk designed to show the deep emotional feelings and culture rooted in the Ladino language. I will focus on the many layers of meaning behind the age old expressions as part of what was daily life in Istanbul, Turkey.



Memories from my Mother’s Kitchen 

Elaine Lindheim 

The kitchen is where I feel most in touch with my Sephardic roots. Food tells a story about my family and its travels from Spain to Turkey and now America. I was raised in a home where English was spoken exclusively, with two notable exceptions. Ladino was the “secret” tongue my parents used when they didn’t want me to know what they were saying, and Ladino was the language that denoted many of the delicious foods that my mother prepared. When it came time for the Jewish holidays or a special event such as a new baby, b’nai mitzvah or engagement party, an entire crew of relatives would assemble in our kitchen to prepare for the festivities. My memories are filled with the flakiness of ojaldre, the aroma of freshly baked rosca, and the creamy smoothness of soutlach. In recent years I have taken to researching the linguistic and culinary origins of the Sephardic recipes that I have inherited and what I have learned has enriched my enjoyment of this cuisine. Please join me in a visit to my mother’s Sephardic kitchen and the memories that it contains.



Sephardic Life in Thessaloniki, Greece 

Rachel Kocsis

This talk will be based on Semaya Levy's Manuscript, detailing Jewish-Greek life before WWII and after, including some anecdotes and special points in the book that were instructive to me. I will pay special attention to contributions made by the Jewish communities of Thessaloniki including certain historical events.



Passover Traditions from Two Worlds 

Stella Esformes

I will be discussing Passover traditions (food) of the Sephardic Jews living in Salonika, Greece. She will describe what it was like growing up as a child and how Passover was celebrated in Salonika prior to being taken by the Nazis. She will then fast forward to 1945 after being liberated from the Germans. She will also describe how she spent the coming years celebrating Passover, once again in Greece and then on coming to America with her husband and children.



Financial Reports from the Sociedad, Paz, y Progreso 

Aron Hasson

I will speak about one of his most treasured artifacts relating to a Judeo-Spanish document from Los Angeles.  It is the original 1917 annual financial report of the Rhodesli synagogue organization.  It is written in the solitreo handwriting and describes the source of income as well as what expenses were incurred by the organization.  At that time the organization was called the “Sociedad Paz y Progreso” which merged with the current Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel.



The Rhodesli Wedding 

Rae Cohen & Rose Benon

We will speak on the traditional wedding for the Sephardim of Rhodes.  In our presentation, we will review the following aspects of the Rhodesli wedding planning: the engagement, the hope chest, the ashugar, the bridal bath (banyo di novia), and the hupa.