ISRAEL – Farewell to Matilde Cohen-Sarano, guardian of Ladino

Also known as Judezmo or Judaeo, Ladino is the ancient language of the Sephardic Jews, which survived the forced expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in the late 15th century and the subsequent dispersion throughout the Mediterranean region. According to recent estimates, 60,000 to 200,000 people around the world speak Judeo-Spanish today. A heritage that is not only linguistic, passionately defended and promoted by Italian-Israeli writer Matilde Cohen Sarano.
Passed on June 4 at the age of 84, Cohen Sarano was born in 1939 in Milan to a Jewish family of Turkish origin. Emigrated to Israel in 1960, she completed the studies she had begun at the Bocconi University in Milan at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, devoting herself to the in-depth study of Judeo-Spanish literature, heritage and folklore. To these topics she devoted her entire life, building bridges between generations. “She considered this commitment her mission; she saw herself as a survivor since with her family she had survived the Holocaust,” the eSefarad-Noticias del Mundo Sefaradí news portal wrote
highlighting her work as a Ladino teacher at Ben Gurion University and the Ladino programs she edited for the Israeli radio. Cohen Sarano was also the author of numerous books, including a Hebrew-Ladin dictionary. May her memory be a blessing.