Praise for Mark Cohen's Last Century of a Sephardic
The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943
important addition to the study of Sephardic Jews and
an essential building block in what I hope is the burgeoning
field of Balkan Jewish studies.
Cohen has done
an impressive job, and no library - certainly no center
of Jewish studies - would be complete without this book.
Alana Newhouse, The Forward,
August 15, 2003
Cohen's portrait of a once vibrant Balkan world that is
no more is an unusual and impressive work
narrative history of the city, now Bitola, in Macedonia.
Sandee Brawarsky, The Jewish Week.
April 14, 2004
lovely book provides a welcome glimpse into a world once
vibrant and now tragically lost.
a fascinating story of the Monastir Jews' traditional
culture, their Westernization, and destruction in the
Holocaust. Last Century offers a portrait of a hitherto
neglected Jewish culture that is a pleasure to read."
Dr. Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Dept. of History,
University of Washington
a journalist of Monastirli descent, provides us a rich
survey on the Jewish community of the Balkan city of Monastir.
He examines the history of the town and its Jewish community
on the background of general developments in the region.
The book is also rich in economic and social examination
and especially in information about the culture of the
this is a welcomed contribution."
Rachel Simon, Princeton University,
Princeton University Library
Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter, September/October
number of similar volumes have been published recently;
most are dry, soulless records. Here, in Last Century,
Mr. Cohen has put a face on a lost community. [Research
based on] archival sources in five countries on three
together with a fluid and engaging writing
style, help make Last Century of a Sephardic Community
interesting reading both for the serious student of history
and those interested in vanished Jewish communities of
The Jewish Press,
November 28, 2003
book is terrific. It put my family history in far more
perspective than I have ever been able to find before."
Judi Hasson, Editor-at-Large, Federal
has provided for the reader a microscopic focus on the
Jews in his encyclopedic biography of a unique Jewish
community during its last century of existence. Into that
multi-faceted story [Cohen] weaves both the local and
the regional history of one of the world's most complex
Steven Bowman, Jewish Studies Network, November
has set himself a laudable task and has accomplished it
with flying colors.
A must for the student of Sefardica."
Dr. Albert de Vidas, American Assocation of Jewish
Friends of Turkey Newsletter, Summer 2003
read with much interest your book that is almost perfect
in all its aspects. In my review that I have presented
to the quarterly Pe'amim, I defined it as a research into
the pre-Holocaust Sephardi world. Again, many congratulations
for your great work."
Prof. Nissim Yosha, on reviewing Last
Century for Pe'amim, the Journal of the
casting the Jewish community of Monastir in an historical
context, Mr. Cohen fills the blanks in the memories of
natives of Monastir and their descendants. It is a book
that we warmly recommend to them and to others interested
in Balkan Jewish history."
Jean Carasso La Lettre Sepharade,
gave yourself a lot of grief and toil in gathering so
many precious documents. Many of these were unknown to
us. You built a great monument, unlike anything done until
Zamila Kolonomos, author of Proverbs,
Sayings and Tales of the Sephardi Jews of Macedonia
in-depth study that delves into a variety of archival
and published sources to bring together a coherent story
of a community
Last Century of a Sephardic Community
is a good addition to the growing literature on Sephardic
Journal of American Folklore
is a quality book in appearance and in thoroughness of
research. It contains not only a detailed history, but
also a section of songs, tales, and proverbs, all with
the typical pronunciation of the Ladino [dialect] of Monastir
(and Yugoslavia in general)
This book is an important
contribution to the history of our people. I recommend
it to you all with much enthusiasm."
Rachel Bortnick, Ladinokomunita,
book, illustrated with numerous photographs, also has
a complete list of the names of the 3,276 Monastir Jews
who were deported [during the Shoah], along with
a selection of kantigas, romansas, konsejas and refranes
not only very interesting from a folklore
perspective of this community, but also for the spoken
Ladino [dialect], which which was different from Salonika,
Istambul and other parts of the Sephardic Diaspora.
#73, November 2003