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Conntemporary Sephardic Identity in the Americas

An Interdiscipinary Approach

by Edna Aizenberg and Margalit Bejarano

Publication Year: 2012

Offers a wide overview of the Sephardic presence in North and South America through eleven essays discussing culture, history, literature, language, religion and music.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii


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pp. ix-xi

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Introduction: A Mosaic of Diverse Identities

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pp. xiii-xxii

The Sephardic population in the Americas is formed by a large number of small groups, divided according to communities of origin in the Iberian Peninsula, the Middle East, and North Africa, and dispersed among English-, Spanish-, Portuguese-, and...

Part 1: Sephardim in the Americas: Community and Culture

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pp. 1-65

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1. The Sephardic Communities of Latin America: A Puzzle of Subethnic Fragments

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pp. 3-30

The disintegration of the Ottoman Empire was followed by the reemergence of small enclaves of the old Sephardic world in different corners of Latin America. Emigrants from the Middle East and the Balkan countries, fleeing misery...

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2. Nuevos mundos halló Colón, or What’s Different about Sephardic Literature in the Americas?

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pp. 31-37

Was Columbus Jewish? The question debated ad nauseam over the years, reaching fever pitch around the time of the 1992 fifth centennial, surfaced again some time ago on the website of LAJSA, the Latin American Jewish Studies Association...

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3. Sephardic and Syrian Immigration to America: Acculturation and Communal Preservation

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pp. 38-65

A rousing exhortation to the Sephardic immigrant community appeared in a letter in the Ladino newspaper La America in the early twentieth century: We are now in America, let us become Americans! Let us study the language and history of our Country! Let us direct our activities...

Part 2: Ideological Divergence: Zionism, Religion, and Transnationalism

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pp. 67-158

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4. Cultural Zionism as a Contact Zone: Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews Bridge the Gap on the Pages of the Argentine Newspaper Israel

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pp. 69-87

“For practical reasons,” Argentine Jews should not immigrate to Palestine, declared a contributor to the Sephardi Zionist newspaper Israel, because the arrival of too many people could cause both a moral and economic catastrophe in that Middle Eastern territory...

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5. Syrian Jews in Buenos Aires: Between Religious Revival and Return to Biblical Sources, 1953–90

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pp. 88-104

A distinct religious revival process was undergone by the Syrian Jews who came from the cities of Aleppo and Damascus to Buenos Aires from the mid-1950s to the beginning of the 1990s. The secular leadership, open to modern world values, was weakening...

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6. Religious Movements in Mexican Sephardism

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pp. 105-123

Throughout the twentieth century, the cultural heritage identified with the Sephardic Jewish experience in Mexico was reflected in the life of three communities that had gone through significant transformations along the four generations: the Mount...

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7. Transnational Identity and Miami Sephardim

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pp. 124-140

During the 1970s, there was a popular USA TV show called All in the Family. One day a friend asked Archie Bunker, the main character, about another friend, “the Hebe,” whom he had not seen for a while in his New York neighborhood...

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8. From Turkey to the United States: The Trajectory of Cuban Sephardim in Miami

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pp. 141-158

The Sephardic Congregation of Florida in Miami Beach was founded by Sephardim who had left Cuba following the Castro revolution (1959). The community is situated at the crossroads of Latin America and the United States and is characterized...

Part 3: Culture in Transition: Language, Literature, and Music

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pp. 159

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9. Ladino in Latin America: An Old Language in the New World

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pp. 161-183

Deeply affected by the loss of most of its speakers during the Shoah, Ladino, the vernacular Judeo-Spanish, has been living its death sentence for quite a number of years. Its unavoidable disappearance has been affirmed and reaffirmed for several...

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10. A Taste of Sepharad from the Mexican Suburbs: Rosa Nissán’s Stylized Ladino in Novia que te vea and Hisho que te nazca

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pp. 184-201

When Rosa Nissán’s fi ctional autobiography Novia que te vea burst onto the Mexican literary scene in 1992, followed by its sequel Hisho que te nazca (1996), it was immediately recognized as a groundbreaking introduction of the Sephardic voice...

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11. The Role of Music in the Quebec Sephardic Community

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pp. 202-220

The history of the Canadian Sephardic community constitutes a relatively little-known chapter of the Sephardic Diaspora. The Sephardic community of the Province of Quebec, Canada, located mostly in Montreal, occupies a unique...

Works Cited

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pp. 223-245


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pp. 247-252

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815651659
E-ISBN-10: 0815651651
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632726
Print-ISBN-10: 081563272X

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 15 tables
Publication Year: 2012