Immigrant Heritage Month: Explore Ladino Online

By Dorot Jewish Division Staff
June 1, 2020
 ke-fi minhag Sefaradim. Sephardic Studies Collection, Univ. of Washington

An unexpected benefit of quarantine is the boom in online classes and learning opportunities. Exercising your brain and interacting with others can supply a much-needed dose of inspiration in times of uncertainty and stress. 

This was certainly true for a recent online Ladino language course that drew hundreds of international participants. Taught by Professor Bryan Kirschen (SUNY Binghamton) and sponsored by the Sephardic Brotherhood, its popularity has already resulted in additional classes; there’s also an online summer intensive with the University of Washington’s Stroum Center for Jewish Studies

Language courses are just one way to start (or continue) your Ladino studies. There is something online for everyone, including Library e-books on history, culture and literature; digitized primary sources, recipes, and music.

Learn about Ladino

Ladino is a Jewish language also known as Judeo-Spanish, Judezmo, Dzhudezmo, Djudio, Spaniolit, or Spanyol, or Muestro Spanyol. It is a variety of Spanish spoken by Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in 1492, that through migration has come to be spoken in many different countries. Ladino preserves aspects of medieval Spanish, combined with elements of Turkish, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, French, Italian, and Arabic, as well as already present Hebrew elements. It was historically written in Solitreo, a cursive Hebrew “Rashi” script. 

Learn more about the language and preservation efforts.

NYPL E-Books : Explore Ladino history and culture with the following e-books, available with your library card

Literature and Folklore

book cover
Yes! We are Latinos


Family papers


Primary Sources: Discover oral histories, historical newspapers, documents, and books in these online collections

For further research, try these guides from Duke University and the University of Michigan.

Cooking: Explore Sephardic cuisine with these e-books

Tahini and Turmeric


Music@NYPL: Enjoy Ladino music with your library card

Jewish woman of Turkey

Jewish woman of Turkey. Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs. NYPL Digital Collections 94440

Ketubbah. Gibraltar. 1826

Ketubbah. Gibraltar, 1826. Dorot Jewish Division. NYPL Digital Collections 1238121