Page 56 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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Recent Books in English on
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a r t i c l e
I wrote for the
Jewish Book Annual
(Vol. 35,
1977/78) I had lamented the widespread ignorance about Se­
phardic history and culture. I noted that while a num ber o f
historians had devoted serious research to Sephardim o f me­
dieval Spain, “the Sephardic communities (post-16th century)
have been left in darkness, without benefit o f adequate historical
study.” How can people learn more about Sephardim unless
there is research and publication? How can the impo rtan t con­
tributions o f this segment o f the Jewish people become better
known and understood unless scholars study and writers write?
In the relatively short span o f time separating that article from
this one, the picture has changed significantly. T h e re has been
a burst o f interest in the Sephardic experience. Lectures, sym­
posia, concerts and exhibitions on Sephardic themes have be­
come much more widespread. Publications have also expanded
considerably, and there is now an impressive (and growing) lit­
e ra tu re about Sephardim in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French
and o ther languages.
The following books, in English, provide insight into the Se­
phardic experience. As in the case o f my previous article, I use
the term “Sephardic” in the broad sense, to include not only
Jews o f Iberian background but also those who are culturally,
liturgically and halakhically close to them.
A s h t o r , E l i y a h u .
The Jews of Moslem Spain,
3 volumes, Philadelphia,
1973, 1979, 1984.
B a e r , Y i t z h a k .
The Jews of Christian Spain,
volumes, Philadelphia,
1961, 1971.