Friend of the Foundation: Matilda Koen-Sarano
Noted Author and Lecturer, Faculty Member Ben-Gurion University
Research Interests Include:
Teacher of the Ladino language (written and spoken), culture, and folklore. Collection and documentation of oral folklore. The analysis of both written and spoken narrative with the goal of preserving the culture.
- Matilda Koen-Sarano was born in Milan (Italy) in 1939 to a Sephardic family from Turkey. Her grand-father, Moshe, was born in Bergama (Turkey) in 1874. Her father Alfredo, and her mother Diana Hadjes, were both born in Aydin (Turkey). Her father lived in Rhodes till 1925, and her mother in Izmir (Turkey) till 1938. Her parents were married in Milan in 1938. During the Second World War the family was hidden in the Italian mountains to escape the Nazi persecutions. Her father was the Secretary of the Jewish Community of Milan from 1945 until 1969.
- Matilda married in 1960 to Aharon Cohen, now the Director General of The National Authority for Ladino and its Culture, and soon moved to Israel. She has lived in Jerusalem since 1962.
- She is a mother of three and grand-mother of eight. She made her studies in the Jewish Community School and the University in Milan. In 1979 she participated in a Seminary for Radio programs in Judeo-Spanish for Kol Israel (The Israeli Radio Agency) in Jerusalem. She received her B.A. in Italian Literature, Judeo-Spanish and Folklore in 1987 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She worked for 23 years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem (1974-1997) and now is retired.
- The essential activity of Matilda Koen-Sarano is found in the field of the conservation and the preservation of the Judeo-Spanish language, culture, and folklore; this she feels is he mission of her life, because she escaped from the holocaust, and is a survivor.
- Teaches the Judeo-Spanish language at the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, (since 1996) and Judeo-Spanish folk-tales in the Midreshet Amalia Jerusalem (since 1991); She also teaches a Course for Ladino Teachers, organized by The National Authority for Ladino and its Culture, in Jerusalem, (since 1998).
- She writes the Judeo-Spanish News at Kol Israel (The Israeli Radio Agency) twice a week (since 1995); and has a weekly program of Judeo-Spanish folk-tales and songs (1996). She also has been conducting other programs, such as tales, songs, and Sephardic / Italian folklore (since 1985)
- She writes for the Judeo-Spanish Review Aki Yerushalayim, (since 1979), and for the Review Los Muestros in Brussels (since 1990); has also published many scientific articles in Israel and abroad.
- Appears as a storyteller all over the country and abroad, alone or with the singers Betty Klein, Nurit Henig and Moty Abramov. She volunteers her time in schools and old folks homes.
- Established a monthly club of storytellers of Judeo-Spanish in Jerusalem (1987), and the winter club in Vini kantaremos with the singer Betty Klein, to teach Judeo-Spanish songs (1995).
- Has participated since 1988 in 16 international congresses and in many national congresses about Judeo-Spanish language, culture and folklore.
- Produced herself in Argentina (in 1992 and 1999), in Mexico (in 1996 and 1998) and in Uruguay (in 1999) in the field of the Judeo-Spanish language, culture and folklore diffusion. Gave courses for teachers and pupils (Mexico City) and was present at the representation of her musical comedy Sefaradis de dor en dor by the Colejio Sefaradi pupils (1998).
Judeo - Spanish (Ladino)
Publications & Recordings for Sale
- Matilda Koen-Sarano, Kuentos del folklor de la famiya djudeo-espanyola, (Folk-tales of a Judeo-Spanish family's folklore.) Kana, Yerushalyim, 1986. (Djudeo-Spanish-Hebrew).
- Matilda Koen-Sarano, Djoh ke dize?, (Folk-tales about Djoha ) Kana, Yerushalyim, 1991. (Djudeo-Spanish-Hebrew).
- Matilda Koen-Sarano, Konsejas i konsejikas del mundo djudeo-espanyol, (Fables and jokes from the Judeo-Spanish world) Kana, Yerushalyim, 1994. (Djudeo-Spanish-Hebrew).
- The address for these three books: Carta Publishing House, Rehov Hauman 16, Jerusalem 93420, Israel, Tel.: 972-2-6783355; Fax: 972-2-6782373
Matilda Koen-Sarano, Lejendas de la tradisin djudeo-espanyola, (Legends and moral folk-tales of the Judeo-Spanish tradition) Nur Afakot, Yerushalyim, 1999 (Djudeo-Spanish - Hebrew).
- The address for this book: Nur Afakot, P.O.B. 1199, Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Matilda Koen-Sarano, De Saragosa a Yerushalyim, (From Zaragosa to Jerusalem, Judeo-Spanish Folk-tales) Ibercaja, Zaragoza, 1995. (Djudeo-Spanish).
The address for this book: S. Jos Mara Barcel, Ibercaja, Plaza de Basilio Paraso, 2, 50008 Zaragoza, Espana, Tel.: 34.976767676; Fax. 34.976232811
Matilda Koen-Sarano, Kuentos salados djudeo-espanyoles, (Judeo-Spanish folk-tales for adults) Edisiones Capitelum, Valencia, 1999. (Djudeo-Spanish).
The address for this book : Edisiones Capitelum, C/Carcaixent 14, 28a, E-46007, Valencia, Espaa; Fax: 34.96.3803776; E-mail: email@example.com
Matilda Koen-Sarano, Vin kantaremos, (Collection of Judeo-Spanish traditional Songs) Koleksin de kantes djudeo-espanyoles, Edisin de la Autora, Yerushalyim, 1993. (Djudeo-Spanish).
Matilda Koen-Sarano, Kurso de Djudeo- Espanyol (Courses of Judeo-Spanish for Beginners and Advanced students...with vocabulary.) para Prinsipiantes, Ed. Merkaz Eliachar, Universidad Ben-Gurion en el Negev, 1999 (Djudeo-Spanish-Hebrew).
Matilda Koen-Sarano, Kursoi de Djudeo - Espanyol (Ladino) para Adelantados, Ed. Merkaz Eliachar, Universidad Ben-Gurion en el Negev, 1999. (Djudeo-Spanish-Hebrew).
Matilda Koen-Sarano & Maymon Benchimol, Vokabulario Djudeo- Espanyol - Ebreo; Ebreo-Djudeo-Espanyol, Ed Merkaz Eliachar, Universidad Ben-Gurion en el Negev, 1999.
Matilda Koen-Sarano, Tabelas de Verbos en Djudeo - Espanyol (Conjugation's Tables of Judeo-Spanish Verbs ), Edisin de la Autora, Yerushalyim, 1999. (Djudeo-Spanish-Hebrew).
The address for these five books: Matilda Koen-Sarano, P.O.B. 34040, Jerusalem 91340, Israel, Tel.: 972-2-6523864; Fax: 972-2-6514286; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Music Compact Disc (C.D.) - Matilda Koen-Sarano & Hayim Tsur, Nostalja, kantigas nuevas djudeo-espanyolas, (New Ladino Songs), Hataklit, Ramat-Gan, 1995.
Music Compact Disc (C.D.) - Matilda Koen-Sarano & Hayim Tsur, Sefarads de dor en dor, (The Musical Comedy "Sepharadis from generation to generation - Judeo-Spanish Songs.) Musical Comedy in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish [Ladino] Songs), Hataklit, Ramat-Gan, 1999.
The address for two these C.D.'s is: Hataklit; P.O.Box: 32, Pardesiya 42815, Israel; Tel.: 972-9-8946236; Fax: 972-9-8946299
Matilda Koen-Sarano: Rehov Harav Maymon 6, P.O.B. 34040
Jerusalem 91340, Israel - Tel. 972-2-6523864; Fax: 972-2-6514286