Curated by Jane Mushabac and Bryan Kirschen
Ladino is a bridge to many cultures. A variety of Spanish, it has absorbed words from Hebrew, Turkish, Arabic, French, Greek, and Portuguese. The mother tongue of Jews in the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, Ladino became the home language of Sephardim worldwide. While the number of Ladino speakers has sharply declined, distinguished Ladino Day programs like ours celebrate a vibrant language and heritage. These programs are, as Aviya Kushner has written in the Forward, “Why Ladino Will Rise Again.”
Since 2013, these programs have been held around the world to honor Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish. January 29th marks New York’s 6th Annual Ladino Day hosted by the American Sephardi Federation.