An Ode to Salonika

An Ode to Salonika

The Ladino Verses of Bouena Sarfatty
Melammed, Renée Levine
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Format: Hardback 16 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00681-3
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Description

Winner, 2014 Canadian Jewish Book Awards, biography/memoir category

Through the poetry of Bouena Sarfatty (1916-1997), An Ode to Salonika sketches the life and demise of the Sephardi Jewish community that once flourished in this Greek crossroads city. A resident of Salonika who survived the Holocaust as a partisan and later settled in Canada, Sarfatty preserved the traditions and memories of this diverse and thriving Sephardi community in some 500 Ladino poems known as coplas. The coplas also describe the traumas the community faced under German occupation before the Nazis deported its Jewish residents to Auschwitz. The coplas in Ladino and in Renée Levine Melammed's English translation are framed by chapters that trace the history of the Sephardi community in Salonika and provide context for the poems. This unique and moving source provides a rare entrée into a once vibrant world now lost.

Author Bio

Renée Levine Melammed is Dean of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and author of Heretics or Daughters of Israel: The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile and A Question of Identity: Iberian Conversos in Historical Perspective. She is academic editor of Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues, published by IUP, and a columnist for the Jerusalem Post.

Reviews

An important contribution to Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) studies as well as to the history of Greek Jews during Holocaust. Melammed has done her best to present Bouena's impressive text.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: 20th Century Salonika and Bouena’s Ladino Coplas
1. Bouena’s Ode to Salonika
2. Tradition versus Modernity and Historical Developments
3. Coplas Written by Bouena Sarfatty Garfinkle about Life in Salonika
4. "The Miseries the Germans Inflicted on Salonika"
5. Coplas about the Miseries that the Germans Inflicted upon Salonika from 1941-1943
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index of Community Members’ Names That Appear in the Coplas
Index

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