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Los Muevos Ladineros: A New Start in Seattle

By Cynthia Flash


Nearly three dozen people from multiple generations gathered in Seattle on May 19 for the launch of Los Muevos Ladineros (The New Ladineros), a group of individuals interested in studying and building community through the Ladino language.

The original Seattle Ladineros started many years ago and primarily included native Ladino speakers who discussed the language and practiced using it. The beloved original members also participated in several International Ladino Day celebrations organized by the Sephardic Studies Program at the University of Washington. The group was led by various leaders over the years, including Hazzan Isaac Azose. Sadly, like many other groups, they stopped meeting during the COVID shutdown.

With much enthusiasm and enerjia, a new group of participants gathered for last month’s launch event held at the Mary Schwartz Summit in Seattle. They included several native Ladino speakers who were part of the original Ladineros – along with many new participants. The Ladineros organizers hope this is the beginning of a fruitful new chapter in the history of Seattle's famous Ladino study club.

Spearheaded by the Seattle Sephardic Network, Los Muevos Ladineros is a partnership between the American Ladino League, Seattle Sephardic Network, and the Sephardic Studies Program at the University of Washington, with funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Dr. Hannah Pressman, a co-director of the American Ladino League, is facilitating the local meetings.

“The ALL is proud to help continue the legacy of Ladino speakers in Seattle. We hope this partnership demonstrates the League’s capacity to provide focused support and high-quality content to meet the needs of communities seeking a deeper connection with Ladino language and culture,” Pressman said. 

Los Muevos Ladineros will meet again on June 23 with a special guest appearance by Prof. Bryan Kirschen of Binghamton University and the “Ladino Linguist” platform. Alongside Pressman and Rachel Amado Bortnick, Kirschen is a co-founder and co-director of the American Ladino League.


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