About the Sephardic Studies Program

A historic ketubah on yellowed canvas showing a crescent moon and flowers in green and red. Inset text reads, "The Sephardic Studies Program at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies has quickly become a world-renowned center for the study of Sephardic history and culture, as well as the Ladino language. Home to one of the most vibrant Sephardic communities in the United States, Seattle offers an ideal environment to preserve and revitalize the legacy of the Sephardic Jewish experience.The Sephardic Studies Program at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington seeks to preserve the culture, language, and history of Sephardic Jews. As Seattle has been home to a vibrant Sephardic community for over a century, the University of Washington is uniquely situated to serve not only as a center for the study of the Sephardic experience by students and scholars, but also a multifaceted resource center for Sephardic Jews in the community and worldwide.

In partnership with local Sephardic institutions, the Sephardic Studies Program has gathered 2,046 items — including 403 Ladino books that have since been digitized — from over 100 families to form the Sephardic Studies Digital Collection (SSDC). As the world’s first major digital repository of sources pertaining to the largely invisible yet historically significant Sephardic Jews of the Mediterranean world, the SSDC includes key books, archival documents, and audio recordings that illuminate the history, culture, literature, politics, customs, music, and cuisine of Sephardic Jews all expressed in their own language, Ladino.

The Sephardic Studies Program has already energized student, faculty, and community involvement in Sephardic history and culture through innovative research opportunities, new courses, and public lectures. Our three mutually enriching areas of focus are research, teaching, and community engagement. Most notably, our annual International Ladino Day, a hallmark of campus programming, brings together 300 community members, students, faculty, and scholars to discuss the past, present, and future of Ladino.

Read our brochure to learn more about the exciting expansion of the Sephardic Studies Program at the UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.

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Sephardic Studies Team

Devin Naar
Program Chair, Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies
Email: denaar@uw.edu

Jenny McCullum
Assistant Director, Sephardic Studies
Email: jemccull@uw.edu

Contact Us

Email: sephstud@uw.edu
Phone: (206) 543-0138