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Poetry Remembers, The Heart Sings

After the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, about 13,000 Sephardim settled in Ottoman Macedonia. The only thing they could bring with them to the new geographical space was their rich oral cultural heritage, mainly formed of poetry, songs, and proverbs in Ladino. Join Dr. Sofija Grandakovska for an exploration of how oral history constitutes the historical, cultural, and socio-religious life of the Sephardim in Ottoman Macedonia.

Sofija Grandakovska, PhD, is an Associate Professor teaching comparative literature and anthropology of genocide in the Department of Anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York. She specializes in Comparative Literature and Genocide Studies and has published several scholarly monographs such as “Miniatures and Maximums” (2020), “Portrait of the Image”(2010), and “Discourse of the Prayer” (2008), among others. She is an editor and co-author of the bilingual chrestomathy “The Jews From Macedonia and the Holocaust: History, Theory, Culture( (2011). Her new scholarly book “Abraham, can you hear me?”, based on her discovery of original archival documents of the Jewish tragedy in Macedonia and Yugoslavia, will be released in 2023. Sofija Grandakovska is also the author of three books of poetry: “Signet”, “The Burning Sun” and “The Eighth Day”.


B’nai Jeshurun
(212) 787-7600
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Rabbi Rachel Cowan Chapel
270 West 89th Street
New York, NY 10024 United States
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