Students at International Ladino Day, 2014

Students at International Ladino Day, 2014

Both graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Washington engage in a wide range of original research projects in Sephardic Studies through course work, independent studies, senior theses, masters theses, and PhD dissertations. Students come from disciplines and departments across the university, including, but not limited to, History, Jewish Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Ottoman and Turkish Studies, Linguistics, French and Italian Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Near and Middle East Studies. Many of the Sephardic Studies undergraduate and graduate student projects are highlighted on this website.

Graduate Students


sarah with computer- re-croppedSarah Zaides
PhD Candidate in the Department of History: “Tevye’s Ottoman Daughter: Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jewries in the Shatterzones of Empire, 1882-1923.”

By Sarah Zaides: “Tevye’s Ottoman Daughter in the Ladino Press”

Oscar Aguirre-MandujanoOscar Aguirre-Mandujano
PhD Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle East Studies: “Songs of War and Frienship: The Ottoman Verses of Yehuda (Leon) Behar.”

By Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano: “Learning Ladino, A Language I Already Knew”

Interview with Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano: “Thinking Forward with Jewish Studies”


Molly FitzMorrisMolly FitzMorris
MA thesis in the Division of Spanish and Portuguese Studies: “The Last Generation of Native Ladino Speakers? Judeo-Spanish and the Sephardic Community in Seattle.”

By Molly FitzMorris: “Ladino Day confirms Seattle as Vibrant Hub of Sephardic Culture”


Alain Carmen Sykes
PhD Student in the College of Education: “Remembering the Past, Creating the Present: Constructing Salonica through Memoir.” (JSIS 578)

Undergraduate Students


Ashlevvdy BobmanAshley Bobman
“The Ladino Poetry of Albert D. Levy: From Salonica to New York and Seattle.” (JSIS 499)

Read about Ashley Bobman’s research project: Reading Her Great Grandfather


Maddie Boyd, “‘Among those Flickering Lights’: Sephardic Jewish Women in World War II and the Holocaust.” (HIST 499)

David Benitez, “Mapping the Jews from Turkey and Rhodes in Seattle: Insights from the United States Censuses, 1910-1940.” (HIST 498)

Charity Gage, “La Vara, 1939-1945: Sephardic News Coverage during the Second World War.” (HIST 498)

Ryan Gompertz, “Memories in the Pyrenees: Jewish Refugees and Spain during the Second World War.” (HIST 498)

Taryn Harris, a junior at the UW, is majoring in History and minoring in Jewish Studies and Spanish.

Taryn Harris, “Sephardic Jews in Washington,” published on (HIST 495)

Read about Taryn Harris’ collaboration with Professor Devin Naar and Historylink

Taryn Harris, “Sephardim and Ashkenazim: Jewish Immigration, Identity and Discrimination in America.” (HIST 498)

Anjelina Hill, “Sephardic Women: Their Journey from the Old Country to the Pacific Northwest.” (HIST 498)

Loveleen Kaler, “Together and Apart: Sephardic Jews and Greeks in the Puget Sound Region.” (HIST 498)


Marissa Dichter, “The Israel Dynasty from Rhodes: The Rupture in Rabbinic Traditions.” (HIST/JSIS C 250)

Josh Etseksen, “The Circulation, Price and Popularity of Jewish Newspapers and Books in the Ottoman Empire.” (JSIS 499)

Shayna Waldbaum, “Seattle’s Sephardic Pioneers: The Case of Solomon Calvo.” (HIST/JSIS C 250)