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Jewish Studies Presents Judeo-Spanish Culture Week, January 24-31

For Immediate Release
January 20, 2016
Contact: Shira Lander, 214-768-2157,

Dallas, TX– Southern Methodist University will celebrate Judeo-Spanish culture with a series of festive events and lectures the week of January 24-31. Highlights include a screening of Flory’s Flame, a documentary about the life and music of renowned 90-year old Sephardic composer and performer Flory Jagoda, lectures from professors Danielle Joyner, Shira Lander and Bryan Kirschen and a concert featuring Trio Sefardi. All activities are sponsored by SMU’s Jewish Studies. More information is available at


Below is a full schedule of events: All events are open to the public.

Sunday January 24 (2:30-4pm McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall) – An exclusive screening of Flory’s Flame, based on the life and work of performer Flory Jagoda, a National Heritage Fellow. Flory was born in Sarajevo to a musical family whose roots stretched back to Spain for hundreds of years prior to the Jewish expulsion during the Inquisition in 1492. Living in small Jewish communities in Bosnia over the ensuing centuries, the songs and lyrics of their culture were lovingly passed down generation by generation to Flory, the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust. She spent her career composing, recording and performing this music worldwide, which culminated in the sold-out Celebration Concert in September 2013 in the US Library of Congress. Cost: Free

Monday, January 25 (5-6pm Fondren Science 123) – Visiting Assistant professor of Art History, Danielle Joyner and Shira Lander, Director of Jewish Studies, will discuss “Jewish Treasures of Medieval Spain.” Professor Joyner will discuss manuscript production in the Middle Ages and the cooperation between Jewish and Christian workshops, while Professor Lander will discuss synagogue architecture and prominent Jewish illuminated manuscripts from Medieval Spain, like the Sarajevo Haggadah and the Alba Bible, which was featured in the Meadows Museum exhibit “Treasures from the House of Alba.” Cost: Free

Thursday, January 28 (5-6pm McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall) – The future of Ladino will be the subject of a lecture by Dr. Bryan Kirschen, whose movie, Saved by Language, a documentary exploring Sephardic narratives in Sarajevo regarding the Holocaust, was premiered at last year’s Dia Internasional del Ladino. Kirschen is Assistant Professor of Romance Languages at Binghamton University specializing in field of Hispanic Linguistics. He has presented and published on a variety of topics related to Judeo-Spanish in contact with Modern Spanish, in addition to having edited a volume on Judeo-Spanish linguistic, literary, and culture studies. Cost: Free

Sunday, January 31 (4-5:30pm Caruth Auditorium) – The weeklong festival will culminate with an afternoon concert by Trio Sefardi, whose musicians and vocalists perform with Flory Jagoda. Using period instruments and specialized vocal techniques, Howard Bass, Tina Chancey and Susan Gaeta will provide a delightful hour and a half of story and song. The event promises to entertain all, young and old alike. Tickets available online at Tickets not sold at the door.