Sephardic Liturgy - Zemirot.org
The Brotherhood has launched a major new initiative dedicated to our beautiful Sephardic liturgy (hazzanut). This effort is called Zemirot.org.
The mission of Zemirot.org is to document the unique liturgy of the Ladino-speaking Sephardic and Romaniote communities of Greece, Turkey, and the former Ottoman Empire. These liturgical traditions, known as hazzanut, piyutim, pizmonim, and maftirim, are incredibly complex with rich social and cultural histories that have developed over hundreds of years. Unlike the liturgical traditions of both Ashkenazi and Middle Eastern Jewish communities, Sephardic communities developed a complex liturgical system heavily influenced by the Ottoman Sufi system of vocalizations and music. These unique systems have created a wide range of beautiful liturgical tunes and customs that have become integral to Sephardic religious practices.
Our hope is that Zemirot.org will not only serve as a repository for the thousands of different melodies and traditions within the Sephardic liturgy, but as a critical resource for both academic research and within our living communities across the United States and beyond. Indeed, we aim to inspire a new generation of Sepharadim around the world to help revive our traditions and engage proudly with our liturgical heritage, one that needs to be recognized and celebrated.
We at the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America feel it is our obligation to preserve our collective heritage and make it available to the next generation. Zemirot.org will be a continuous work in progress; this project is no small task. Yet we are we are proud and happy to collect, archive, and make it available to everyone. We hope you will use this resource fully and support us by contributing Sephardic liturgical traditions you may have for Shabbat, Holidays, Life Cycle Events, or any number of unique Jewish practices. Si Kere El Dio, (with God’s help) this will serve as a new source of education for years to come.