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International Ladino Day

A Celebration of Words and Music

Sunday, February 10 2019

A Festival to celebrate Ladino, the remarkable language also known as Judeo-Spanish. Celebrate Ladino in the company of highly acclaimed musicians and writers. Hear clarinetist Danny Elias; author Jane Mushabac's story, Seven Songs; composer Avi Amon's musical fantasy, Salonika; scholar Bryan Kirschen speaking on Ladino's rich culture; Rabbi Nissim Elnecavé on wisdom tales; and the Alhambra Ensemble's Songs of Courtship, Love, and Holidays with oud, violin, shawm, dumbek and voices. Light refreshments will be served.


Since 2013, when Israel's 5th President Yitzhak Navon endorsed Zelda Ovadia's idea of International Ladino Day, celebrations have been held in Jerusalem, Seattle, Istanbul, Madrid, Dallas, Forest Hills, Boston, and other cities. February 10th marks the Second Annual International Ladino Day at the Center for Jewish History. Ladino is a bridge to many cultures; it's a Spanish language that includes words in Hebrew, Turkish, Arabic, and more. The mother tongue of Jews in the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, Ladino was the home language of Sephardim worldwide in the early 20th century. 


Although today Ladino is only spoken by a small fraction of Sephardim, the interest in the language and its culture is experiencing a resurgence through distinguished university programs, publications, concerts, and events of many kinds. 


The February 10th event is presented by the American Sephardi Federation, the American Jewish Historical Society, the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America, and Binghamton University Department of Judaic Studies and the Charles and Rae Grabel Memorial Fund for Judaic Studies. We are also grateful to the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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