Welcome to the third issue of Sephardic Horizons!
In this Spring 2011 issue, we bring you several important new studies. Regina Igel discusses the little-known travails and sufferings of the secret Jews and conversos of early colonial Brazil, and the long arm of the Portuguese Inquisition, which persecuted both writers and ordinary people over three centuries. She focuses on three relatively unknown writers, two of whom were punished by the Inquisition, and one whose work was never published during his lifetime. David Domínguez Navarro discusses a more fortunate group of Sephardic exiles from Iberia: those who emigrated to the Ottoman Empire, and experienced what might be called a second Golden Age, at least in economic terms, during the sixteenth century.
We are also privileged to present an article by Rabbi Marc D. Angel, Rabbi Emeritus of Shearith Israel in New York, on models of Sephardic rabbinic leadership today, and another intriguing short story in Ladino/Judeo-Spanish by Rivka Abiry, "La Validja." Rosine Nussenblatt presents an extensive review essay on Steven Bowman's history of Greek Jewry during the Holocaust, The Agony of Greek Jews.
Another section of the current issue branches out to the Jews of Tunisia, and we include several unpublished writings by Albert Memmi, doyen of Tunisian Jewish novelists, together with an interview by Dov Maimon, translated by Ralph Tarica, as well as a recent internet interview with two other contemporary Tunisian writers, Claude Kayat and Marco Koskas.
With the interviews and other material on the Jewish culture of Tunisia, we would like to take this opportunity to memorialize the late Robert Attal, z"l, of Tunisian origin, the Librarian of the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, and author of the most comprehensive bibliography on North African Jewry as well as more than 170 articles and books. We also wish to mark the passing of Aharon Cohen, z"l, scholar of Ladino and for many years Director of Israel's National Authority for Ladino and its Culture. Both will be greatly missed.
In addition to our authors and our book reviewer Rosine Nussenblatt, special thanks are due to Elisa Roumani Septimus for help with formatting, to Ralph Tarica for his translations from French, and to the other members of the editorial board. Thanks also to Leo Haber, editor of Midstream, for permission to reproduce poems that were published there, and to Albert Memmi for entrusting us with some unpublished writings. Our new webmaster, Elliott Blufer, is expertly redesigning our website, and dealing with our bilingual material as well as the growing subscription list.
This issue is slightly larger than our previous ones, with six articles, instead of four, plus the book review, and we trust that readers will find something that interests them in the current issue of Sephardic Horizons.