Hello everyone interested in the Turkish Sephardic Culture!
With the advance in technology it is today possible to reach thousands of people and show everyone what our Center, which was founded in December 2003 has been doing. Even though we have an official website www.istanbulsephardiccenter.com , we hadn’t been able to upload any of the material that you see here until our dear friend Sherri Cohen, who at the moment is teaching at Namik Kemal University, had the bright idea and the necessary know-how to set up this blog and upload the material that we wanted. So our many thanks go to Sherri for all her efforts and contribution to our objectives.
It is our aim to collect, archive and document as much of our cultural heritage as possible and also to preserve and promote the Judeo-Spanish language in an effort to prolong its life span. It is also our very important objective to leave as much material in Judeo-Spanish as possible so future generations can at least have something to work on should they be interested in doing research.
The monthly supplement to the Şalom newspaper, the only newspaper of the Turkish Jewish community, El Amaneser started to be published in March 2005. You will find the first 60 issues of El Amaneser in this blog–just click on the “El Amaneser” tab at the top of the blog. The story of how El Amaneser came to be is as follows:
As the Sephardic Center, we wanted to have a publication in Judeo-Spanish that would contribute to the treasury of material already present in the world. At first we thought to be publish a magazine like Aki Yerushalayim, which our dear friend Moshe Shaul had been publishing for 25 years. Then we thought we should have do something more frequent than the two or three times a year that we could have published the magazine. We considered adding one more page to the weekly Şalom newspaper, which is published with one page in Judeo-Spanish a week. However, this was not possible for technical reasons. The printing house said we had to add 4 pages and not 1. So then we thought, “why not publish the pages that we want to add to the Şalom, namely 4 pages a month, as a monthly supplement?” Our friend Selim Hubeş had the great idea to divide the newspaper pages into two for better maintenance purposes. So we set out to publish 8 pages a month. Being extremely inexperienced at the beginning we did not know if we would be able to fill the 8 pages, so we asked all our friends around the world who were publishing material, like Moise Rahmani of Los Muestros, Jean Carasso of La Lettre Sepharade, Rachel Bortnick of Ladinokomunita and of course Moshe Shaul of Aki Yerushalayim if we could use their material in case we had space left in our supplement. All of these dear friends gave us the “carte blanche” to use whatever material we needed. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts. The next step was to announce our intention to publish such a monthly newspaper and ask everyone we could think of to send us written material for the newspaper. And lo and behold! In a short time we were absolutely inundated with material: articles, poems, memoires, anecdotes, stories etc. etc. That is why the first issue was not 8 pages as we had planned but 12! Then the printing house said the publication had to be in multiples of 8, meaning 8, 16 or 24. So from the second issue we continued with 16 pages, already double the number of pages we had originally envisaged and from the second year onwards, one month 16, one month 24 pages; and then from the third year onwards 24 pages with only the summer months going down to 16 because of our designer Semra Sevinç’s summer vacation absence. Thanks to all our friends around the world who have had the muse inside them to write in Judeo-Spanish and have been inspired to fill our pages with wonderful material.
Our team consists of Karen Sarhon (me as editor), Güler Orgun (general editor and coordinator), Gad Nassi in Israel and Roz Koen in the US. Christine Lochow Drüke left us after the first four years of generous contribution. Our permanent writers are Klara Perahya, Mose Grosman, Coya (pronounced as Djoya) Delevi, Esti Saul, Hernan Rodriguez Fisse, Rivka Abiry, Mose Palacci, Aslan Palachi, Michael Halevy, Yehuda Hatsvi and Rifat Birmizrahi. We thank them all for all their contribution and also our thanks to countless others who contribute to El Amaneser. This year (2011) we have started our 7th year of publication and we continue to have more material than we can fit into 24 pages. We are of course extremely happy about it.
Love to all,
Karen Gerson Sarhon (firstname.lastname@example.org) coordinator, the Sephardic Center, Istanbul
In addition to posting more back issues of El Amaneser, we just added a new music section to our blog where you can listen to sample tracks from albums by Los Pasharos Sefaradis, Estreyikas d’Estambol, and more.
In the coming weeks, expect to see videoclips and research project summaries. Enjoy, and Purim alegre!