The Salti Institute for Ladino Studies
Bar-Ilan University, Israel
The Spirit of Ladino and its Heritage
The Salti Institute for Ladino Studies at Bar-Ilan University is faithful to the cosmopolitan spirit that has characterized the world of Ladino and the Sephardim who spoke, wrote and communicated daily. The Ladino language which has benefitted from the knowledge and wealth originating from the cultural diversity within the countries where its speakers have lived, continues to be the language Sephardim use.
We aim to practice and deepen the research, to inspire understanding and acceptance of cultural and religious diversity - a diversity that characterized the people who spoke this language for generations. The Salti Institute is a home to those who love comradeship, friendship, dialogue and peace and to those who wish to approach the various groups among the Jewish people and the non-Jewish world.
Since Ladino has been rooted in the international environment and has functioned with acceptance and mutual understanding, the Salti Institute for Ladino Studies has aimed to re-create that atmosphere and to bring this spirit to people in Israel and abroad.
The Salti Institute for Ladino Studies is responsible for the programming and implementation of research projects with an interdisciplinary vision of Ladino, while incorporating the broadest possible range of researchers from universities in Israel and abroad.
Ladino and Haketia
The Institute’s aim is to encourage and stimulate research in the field of Ladino, spoken by Sephardi Jews expelled from Spain; and its development in the territories of the former Ottoman Empire as well as those established in the North African countries speaking Haketia
Spain and the Extensions of Ladino
The Institute collaborates with researchers from Bar-Ilan University whose research field is Sephardic studies of literature, arts, history etc. dating before the expulsion and the culture that developed after the expulsion among those who continued to speak Ladino and produced works in that language.
Ladino as an Academic Discipline
The Salti Institute for Ladino Studies works while continuing to establish Ladino studies as an independent research discipline with increased enrollment in university degrees, especially MA (Master’s degree with thesis) and PhD degrees. Research students for these two degrees at universities in Israel or abroad have the opportunity of advancement in their work while studying in continuous consultation with the Institute's research team.
This library specializes in the culture of the Sephardic Jews and the world of Ladino, and continues its efforts to locate, assemble, catalogue and provide access to early forms of Ladino and to Ladino books representing the Jewish heritage in Spain before and after the expulsion. The Institute continues to endeavor to find original Ladino works in private collections or in international libraries. Prof. Isaac Jack Levy from Atlanta, a well-known scholar in the field of Sephardic studies has lately donated the institute all his private library.
Furthermore, in recent years, the institute's library has been expanded and enriched by book donations received from many people. Original Ladino books, as well as research books in the field of Sephardic Jews, were donated among others by Moshe Shaul, Mordechai Arbel z”l, Sam Levy (Lisbon) z”l, Margalit Matityahu, Mordechai Ben-Avir (Cabayero), Gad Nassi z”l, Selim Amado z”l, Moshe Behar z”l, the Nissim Danon family, Henry Daniel Hagoel, Boaz Menahem, Dr. Selim Salti, Miriam Pinto, Amnon Rivlin, Yitzhak Chukron, Sarah Yontan (Paris), etc.
Collections and Art
The Institute endeavors to collect and increase its cultural collections and artistic material of Sephardic Jews whose everyday language was Ladino, and occasionally exhibit these collections to the public. In addition, the Institute promotes the development of a contemporary artistic debate on the culture of Sephardic visual and performing arts, and these will be presented from time to time within the Institute.
Access to Education
The Salti Institute for Ladino Studies aims at and focuses its efforts on developing university education in the Ladino language and culture by employing modern technologies (Networking) and by making use of conventional teaching techniques.
Seminars and Conferences
Seminars, Ladino Marathons, international conferences, research workshops and symposia for the discussion and exchange of ideas in limited or larger groups play a significant part in the Institute’s operation. Research groups from around the world can stay in the Institute premises for defined periods in order to promote their academic research activity.
Publications & “Ladinar”
The Salti Institute for Ladino Studies publishes research and conference papers, articles and monographs, as well as scientific books.
“Ladinar” is a peer-reviewed academic journal, dedicated to the investigation of the literature, music and history of the Sephardic Jews. Funded and published by the Salti Institute for Ladino Studies, “Ladinar” serves as a reference platform for leading researchers in their field as well as for young researchers taking their first steps in Ladino studies. The first issue, published in 1998, was edited by Prof. Yehudit Dishon and Prof. Shmuel Refael. Articles in Hebrew, English and Spanish are accepted for publication, and all are reviewed and edited by academic experts before they are published. Throughout its years, “Ladinar” has also served as a medium of publication for research presented for the first time at international conferences. All articles are the first of their kind, and undergo systematic academic editing by Prof. Ora (Rodrigue) Schwarzwald.
Israel - Spain
The purpose of this Institute is to strengthen relations among all organizations in Israel (academic or not) currently active or slated to be active in Ladino and with similar organizations abroad; particularly in Spain, where Ladino research is of great importance to key agencies such as CSIC, RAE, Instituto Cervantes and Casa Sefarad.
The Institute aims to provide the greatest possible support for Ladino studies by awarding scholarships and research grants to Israeli or overseas researchers in Ladino, especially Master’s and PhD degrees students.