Turkish Delight

THE SEPHARDIC IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE IN FICTION by Sarah Aroeste From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   Discussed in this essay: His Hundred Years, A Tale by Shalach Manot. Albion-Andalus Books, 2016, 208 pages.   IT IS WITH BOTH pride and curiosity that I spent my childhood years staring daily at a photograph of my grandfather as […]

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Levinsky Park — on African Refugees in Tel Aviv

AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR BETH TONI KRUVANT AND EDITOR CINDY KAPLAN ROONEY ABOUT THE FILM, LEVINSKY PARK (2016) by Esther Cohen SOUTH TEL AVIV is home to one of Israel’s underserved populations, Sephardic Jews, some barely earning a living. In the midst of this neighborhood, home since 2005 also to more than 60,000 African refugees from Sudan, Eritrea, […]

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January 31: Amsterdam's City Planner

Samuel Sarphati, a physician who built the Amstel Hotel, the Palace of National Industry, a garbage-collection system, a bread factory, and a trade school in Amsterdam as he sought to improve the hygiene among poor communities, was born in the city on this date in 1813. An Orthodox Sephardic Jew, Sarphati lived in an Amsterdam […]

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August 22: The Artist of Manifest Destiny

Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897), a Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, South Carolina, signed up on this date in 1853 to serve as artist and daguerrotypist for John C. Fremont, aka the “Pathfinder,” in his fifth and final expedition through the Rocky Mountains in search of a westward railroad route to California. Carvalho, who had daguerrotype […]

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May 3: Earthquake

The largest of a series of three earthquakes hit the island of Rhodes on this date in 1481. Thirty thousand people died, and the Jewish quarter of the city of Rhodes was destroyed. The Jewish community there dated back to the Hellenistic period, perhaps earlier. Herod had been shipwrecked at Rhodes on his way to […]

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The Columbus Gene

A STORY by Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? A 50-year-old man walks around his patio in San Mateo wearing a fez. Well, you say, Sikhs wear turbans and some Muslims wear embroidered caps. So what’s wrong with a fez? My cousin Steve is an American-born Sephardic Jewish telemarketer. Maybe the fez gives […]

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December 16: His Father's Yogurt

Daniel Carasso, whose father Isaac created a yogurt in Barcelona, 1919, and named it after his son’s Catalan nickname, Danone, was born in Salonica in the Ottoman Empire on this date in 1905. Carasso’s family had lived in Greece for four centuries following the expulsion from Spain, but returned to Spain when Daniel was 11. […]

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November 9: The Oldest Yiddish Story

The oldest extensive and extant document written in Yiddish, the Cambridge Yiddish Codex, found in the Cairo genizah (storeroom) in 1896, was dated November 9, 1382. The incomplete manuscript contains a Yiddish version of the medieval Germanic epic “Dukus Horant,” as well as a retelling of the Binding of Isaac story from the Bible. Scholars […]

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