Today Ladino is a dying language spoken by less than 200,000 mostly Sephardic Jews. But in Chicago, Ladino is helping Latinos and Jews find common ground. The Sephardic Model Seder, a special Passover celebration, is held every year by the Alliance for Jews and Latinos, a group that aims to return to the common denominator of their distant pasts, says Bonnie Rubinow, member of the Alliance Board.
The story offers quotes from the cantor and participants.
MIZRAHI: one of the things I like to do, is when we recount, there’s a word in Hebrew it´s called dayenu, in Sephardic or Ladino, it's called Abastaba a nos, it would have been enough for us, it would have sufficed us. Look at all the great things at the end it says had He taken us out of Egypt, it would have sufficed us…but if we had received the Torah…it would still have sufficed us, it gets greater and greater, all the things Gods did for us to take us out of Egypt….
Latinos who attend the Seder appreciate the telling of the freedom story of the Jewish people in a language that appears to be a distant cousin of the Spanish language, and it also reminds them of other freedom stories, says Olga Rojas.
Read about the sold-out event and listen to the interview and sound clips of Mizrahi here.
The Alliance is also co-sponsoring a Sephardic Legacy concert at the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago, at 12.30pm, Friday, April 18, with Barcelona-born composer/pianist Manuel García Morante and soprano Yrene Martínez-Roca.
For more details, click here or here.