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Sephardic Jews in Spain

Famous names like Hasdai ibn Shaprut and Yehuda HaLevi evoke memories of the Golden Age when Jews flourished in Spain. Alas, they were all expelled in 1492 (except for those willing to convert to Roman Catholicism) but the Diaspora's Sephardim retained their Judeo-Spanish language called "Ladino" for centuries to come. Sephardim of Spanish heritage in modern times have lived in countries like Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Morocco.

Here are some resources about Sephardic Jewish history in Spain:

Out of Spain: An Educational Program for Children Covering the History and Culture of Sephardic Jewry by Andrée Aelion Brooks and Yvonne Behar (2001)
Contains 3 books for students, a guide for teachers or mentors, a CD of sing-along and festival music, and a videotape.

The Woman Who Defied Kings: The Life and Times of Dona Gracia Nasi by Andrée Aelion Brooks (2002)

I've met and had lunch with Andrée and I am happy to see her and others keeping Sephardic history alive. I'm mostly Ashkenazic myself (except several lines have been genetically shown to trace back to Jews in medieval Spain) but appreciate the need for studying other Jewish cultures other than the dominant (Ashkenazic) one. Visit Andrée's homepage here.

Jews of Spain: A History of the Sephardic Experience by Jane S. Gerber (1992, 1994)
I've read this book.

Sephardi Jewry: A History of the Judeo-Spanish Community, 14th-20th Centuries by Esther Benbassa
This is largely about the post-Spain experience of Sephardic Jews in the Balkans and Asia Minor. Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492 and unable to return for centuries thereafter.

A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain by Chris Lowney

The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal
Accused by some as being too sentimental.

Jews, Visigoths and Muslims in Medieval Spain: Cooperation and Conflict by Norman Roth (1994)

Los judíos en Espana / The Jews in Spain by Marta López-Ibor (Spanish edition, 2010)

Songs of the Sephardim - Traditional Music of the Spanish Jews by La Rondinella and Tina Chancey (CD, 1993)

The Church and the Jews Part V: Expulsions and Migration
A lecture that includes discussion on Spanish Jewry and their expulsion by the Christian monarchs of Spain, leading many of them to resettle in the Ottoman Empire.

The Jews and Moors in Spain by Joseph Krauskopf
Lectures from 1887 in print and eBook form.

  • Jewish Virtual Library: Sephardim
  • Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture
  • Institut Sepharade Europeen - based in Belgium, publishers of the periodical Los Muestros: The Sephardic Voice (I have read it and been published in it)