Postponed in 2020 due to the closure of the UCLA campus, the annual UCLadino symposium was held on April 7-8. The theme of “Ottoman Legacies, Emigre Culture, and Linguistic Crossroads” laid emphasis on heritage, culture, and communication related to Sephardic Jews. The music-filled program – all organized by graduate students – featured panels on Ladino Linguistics, History and Memory, and Social Networks, a keynote address by Dr. Olga Borovaya (Stanford), as well as two concerts.

Day 1

Opening Remarks by Simone Salmon

Panel: Language and Translation

  • Moderator: Jennifer Manoukian
  • Y kada uno podra ser rabi: R. Meir Ben-Beniste’s Ladino Translations and the Rise of the Jewish Book, Itay Blumenweig (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Documenting Judeo-Spanish in Solitreo, Bryan Kirschen (Binghamton University) and Nathan Gross (Binghamton University)

Panel: History and Memory

  • Moderator: Rachel Smith
  • Jewish Music and the Ottoman Cultural Tapestry, Simone Salmon (UCLA)
  • Recuperating Ladino & Sephardic Life Cycle Customs Through Digital Media, Makena Mezistrano (University of Washington)

Live Concert by Flor de Kanela: Andrea Fishman (UCSB) and Eric Ederer (UCSB)


Day 2

Keynote by Olga Borovaya (Stanford University)

  • “The Emergence of the Ladino-Speaking Community: Print Culture and Politics of Ottoman Jews in Sixteenth-Century Salonica and Istanbul”

Panel: Networks

  • Moderator: Simone Salmon
  • Por tierras extrañas, Jacobo Sefami (UC Irvine)
  • Our Sephardic Family: A Global Social Media Network, Mark Angel (Independent Scholar)
  • Southern Tobacconists, Greek fishmongers, and Japanese florists: Sephardic immigrants in the early 20th century US Economy, Max Modiano Daniel (UCLA)

Panel: Linguistics

  • Moderator: Max Daniel
  • An Approach to Everyday Ladino Words and Expressions Borrowed from Spoken Languages in Balkan Countries Within the Ottoman Empire, Marcel Israel (Independent Scholar)
  • Linguistic Justice and Judeo-Spanish Revitalization, Rey Romero (University of Houston-Downtown)
  • Borrowed Verb Morphology in Ladino, Fatma Belgin Dinç (Boğaziçi University)

Prerecorded Concert by Simone Salmon, Gal Kohav, Kiera Weiss, Jonathan Salman, Alyssa Mathias, Brandon Wallace, Joseph Alpar

Closing Remarks by Rachel Smith

Sponsored by the:
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
UCLA Department of History
UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese
UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies