Sephardic Communities from Around the World Come Together to Honor Dr. Albert Bourla, Sarah Aroeste, & Albert Maimon for their contributions to society
La Ermandad Sefaradi will honor exemplary members of the community at the National Sephardic Community Gala
(New York, New York - November 26 2021) - On Sunday, December 5, Sephardic Communities from around the world will come together to celebrate their unique culture and identity. The National Sephardic Community Gala will honor the contributions of the Sephardic community to American and global society, while empowering the next generation of Sephardic youth. Participants will gather from community hubs throughout the United States, including New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Portland, as well as global representation from Sephardic communities in Turkey, Greece, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Argentina.
The evening will feature three Sephardic honorees who have made extraordinary contributions to society. Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, will be honored for his service to humanity and for all his work to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. He was born and raised in Thessaloniki (Salonika), Greece, and is the child of Sephardic Holocaust survivors. Sarah Aroeste, a world renowned Ladino singer, songwriter, author, and children’s educator will receive the Young Leadership award for her work to ensure the next generation can learn Ladino, (Judeo-Espanyol), a mix of biblical Hebrew, old Castillian Spanish, and elements of Greek, Turkish, and Arabic. Albert Maimon will be honored for his lifetime community service as a leader and organizer in Seattle and nationally.
From Greece to Turkey to the Balkan region, the Sephardic Jewish community has fought for survival since the expulsion of Jewish people from Spain and Portugal in 1492. Dating back over 500 years, Ladino continues to be spoken and written in Sephardic communities now scattered across the world. Centuries later, these communities carried their language, culture, liturgy and traditions to North America, where they recreated a vibrant network of communities anchored in shared experience. The Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood is working to reinvent what it means to be Sephardic in the 21st Century by empowering its young leaders through their cultural heritage and connecting to their rich history.
For more information on the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America and the National Sephardic Community Gala, please consult the Organization’s website.
“I am honored to be recognized alongside Sarah Aroeste and Albert Maimon for our contributions to the Sephardic community and society as a whole. My parents who are both Holocaust survivors from Thessaloniki, Greece raised me to believe that anything is possible. I believe the tremendous scientific advancements of the past year which have helped us to begin to gain control of the pandemic are proof of that.”
- Dr. Albert Bourla
Chairman and CEO of Pfizer
“I am thrilled to see the Sephardic Brotherhood building a thriving community and empowering a new generation in the U.S. and abroad. It is an honor to be recognized for my professional work over the last two decades to bring my contemporary style of original and traditional Ladino music to audiences around the world. Writing and singing in Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish, connects me to my ancestors, while keeping Ladino music alive for a new generation.”
- Sarah Aroeste
Ladino Artist & Educator
“The timing of the National Sephardic Community Gala on the last night of Hannukah, a holiday of rededication, connects us closely to celebrating recent, impressive accomplishments in the Sephardic community. The breadth and depth of involvement and impact of these programs succeed in bringing us together across a wide geography, and showcasing the many ways of “being Sephardic”. Looking ahead, we will build on this and go from strength to strength together.”
- Albert Maimon,
Community Leader & Sephardic Educator
About the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America
The Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America is the largest Sephardic benevolent organization of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1916 by Jewish immigrants from Ottoman lands, the Brotherhood has worked to serve the most needy in our community and create a home for Sephardic Jews from around the world.
The Brotherhood has the unique mission to support Sephardic individuals, families, and communities deriving their lineage from the Ladino-speaking Jewish communities of Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans.Over the years other Sephardic community organizations that traced their ancestry from Istanbul, Rhodes, Izmir, Adrianople, and other Mediterranean cities merged with the Brotherhood, serving to further unite our Sephardic community in the United States.
Today, the Brotherhood is proud to serve over 1,300 families from across the United States and North America, and continues to support the Sephardic community in the spirit laid out by our society’s founders. In addition to providing burial services for its members, the Brotherhood has expanded its programs to support the future generations of our community and reinvent what it means to be Sephardic in the 21st Century. New initiatives include a Sephardic Birthright Israel Trip, the annual Greek Jewish Festival in Lower Manhattan, and the Greek Jewish & Sephardic Young Professionals Network, which have all been created to ensure we meet the needs of our newest generation of members.