We are pleased to bring you the second issue of Sephardic Horizons, and what we hope will be interesting winter reading.
In this issue, we present an interview with the Israeli novelist, A.B.Yehoshua, in which we discuss with him his new novel, Hesed Sefaradi (the English title will most likely be Spanish Kindness, an intriguing title from a Sephardic point of view). He also discusses his own Sephardic identity and how it is expressed in his novels.
In this issue, also, we are publishing our first literary piece in Ladino/Judeo-Spanish, a short story by Rivka Abiry. We are hoping to publish creative writing in this language regularly.
Rosine Nussenblatt interviews singer and composer Flory Jagoda, the founder and continuing inspirer of our Vijitas de Alhad, about her early life in the region of Sarajevo. This is the first of two interviews. Lastly, I document a personal search for Giorgio Bassani’s fictional garden of the Finzi-Continis, on a recent visit to Ferrara in October 2010, during the year marking a decade since his death. Bassani’s reputation has grown during these ten years, and he has become recognized as the preeminent novelist of Ferrara, ironic in view of the fact that during the Fascist period he was ejected from the tennis club, excluded from the public schools, imprisoned, and had to flee the city. Bassani’s novel The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is being made into an opera, which puts it in the company of A.B. Yehoshua’s A Journey to the End of the Millennium, which also has an operatic version.
The books and media review section of this issue reviews a video entitled Toledo: El Secreto Oculto, a joint Spanish and Israeli production, and a new audio CD of Sephardic wedding songs from Turkey and the Balkans, Boda by Ensemble Saltiel, with a scholarly introduction by Judith Cohen.
I would like to express my gratitude to our founding webmaster, Isaac Nehama, without whose many hours of labor and patient advice this journal would not exist. Isaac is retiring from Sephardic Horizons after this issue but will stay on as Webmaster Emeritus. We hope he will stay involved, wish him “Vidas largas” and “Anyos muchos i buenos” and also appreciate his preparing our next webmaster, Elliott Blufer, who will take over with our Spring issue. I would like as well to thank the following for their contributions to bringing out this issue: Rosine Nussenblatt (for the interview and for her much appreciated efforts in publicity), Leon Taranto and Judith Semo (for publicity and advice), Ralph Tarica, Jacques Roumani, Elisa Roumani Septimus, and Fuat Andic.
Judith Roumani, Editor