About Sephardic Horizons
Although this journal concentrates on the ‘core’ Sephardic culture, that of the Jews who were exiled from the Iberian Peninsula, it will include not only the core culture but also that of Jews who consider themselves Sephardim in the wider sense. In this definition, the Jewish communities of the former Ottoman Empire and the broader Mediterranean and Middle East, even those who do not trace their origin to Iberia, have commonalities deriving from the centuries when Babylon was the preeminent Jewish center which, as it faded, passed the baton to the Mediterranean communities, above all to al-Andalus. Since the expulsion from Spain in 1492, many Sephardim returned to these same regions, as well as emigrating to Europe and the Americas.
Sephardic Horizons has grown out of the Vijitas de Alhad of Washington, an informal group that meets in the Washington DC area to celebrate Sephardic culture, Sephardic music and the Ladino or Judeo-Spanish language. The group was founded by Flory Jagoda and developed by Ralph Tarica, Albert Garih, Rosine Nussenblatt, Bension Varon and others beginning around the year 2000.
Much interesting new research and writing is being conducted in the broader field of Sephardic studies as well as its core, and professional scholars are joined by enthusiastic lay scholars interested in preserving and disseminating the knowledge of their own communities. Sephardic Horizons wishes to throw a spotlight on valuable new writing wherever it is being produced. The title is a nod and homage to a work which came out in 1992, a prolific year for the then-nascent field of Sephardic studies. It seemed that a light went on simultaneously in many scholars’ minds and links were being identified between non-Ashkenazi Jews from diverse origins. The collection of studies entitled New Horizons in Sephardic Studies (1993), edited by the late Yedidia Stillman and by George Zucker, contributed invaluably to the new discourse between and among academics, scholars and laypersons eager to share their knowledge and learn more about their origins. Another example of an important interdisciplinary collection of studies is Harvey Goldberg’s collection on Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewries: History and Culture inthe Modern Era(1996), which combines Sephardic and Mizrahi studies. Since then, numerous books have been published and journals have come and gone, and this space is too small to acknowledge the huge quantity of path-breaking research.
It seems that the informality and flexibility of the internet may provide solutions to problems stemming from the diffuseness of the Sephardic world. That is why we have decided to found this new journal, which will appear three or four times yearly, to provide a forum where Sephardic Jews, academic or committed, and interested others, can come together to read about new ideas in Sephardic studies and creativity in Sephardic culture. Reflecting the interests of the editorial committee and advisory committee, we hope to emphasize letters and the arts, history and community, roots and flowers, and of course to feature work in Ladino/Judeo-Spanish. All articles submitted will be evaluated by specialists in the field. We hope many more will join us in this endeavor!
“La verdad va enriva como la aceite”—“ Truth rises to the top just like oil”
Traditional proverb quoted by Moshe Lazar, Sefarad in my Heart: A Ladino Reader (Lancaster, CA: Labyrinthos, 1999)
Please email us at email@example.com
Sephardic Horizons Editorial Board
Judith Roumani, Editor
Jacques Roumani, Book Review Editor
Sephardic Horizons Advisory Board
Sandra M. Cypess