I am thrilled to announce the launch of my newest endeavor!! Savor (pronounced sa-VOR, and meaning "taste" or "flavor" in Ladino) is an innovative project that combines Sephardic music and food in a multi-dimensional way. We've paired 10 Ladino songs about food with 10 recipes that are being presented by acclaimed female chefs whose work helps to promote Sephardic culture. The result will be a wide variety of people engaged in conversations that combine Sephardic history, food, and music. We want you to be a part of it! Watch a short video about Savor and then click below to get a taste!!
Have you caught my two new web series I began at the start of 2023? One third of the way into this year, and they're going strong! The first, Cute Kids Speaking Ladino, features my own daughter with a weekly phrase or concept she teaches us in Ladino. The second, the Refran Rundown, has me breaking down a fun Ladino proverb or saying.
Here's a sampling!
Cute Kids Speaking Ladino
The Refran Rundown
Today marks a tragic day in history, when, on March 11, 1943, the Jewish population of Macedonia was deported during WWII. 79 years later, I am here to offer some beauty and hope.
For the last several years I have worked in Macedonia to bring alive the stories of the Jewish community from long ago. Today, I want to share a song I wrote, using the memories of my own family members who were born in the city of Monastir.
I filmed this video in 2021 throughout Monastir's old Jewish neighborhoods, most notably on the balcony of my ancestral family's house (where you can still see the Jewish stars in the iron work), and in the abandoned building of the Talmud Torah (Jewish school). Together with an almost entirely Macedonian production crew, I created this music video (in the Monastirli dialect of Ladino) to bring to life the textures of this once vibrant Jewish community.
I hope it honors all those who were lost, and those who live on today to tell their stories.
While COVID has disrupted so much travel, borders are finally opening again and I am thrilled to offer the chance to come to Macedonia with me! Be my VIP guest learning about Jewish heritage in this magnificent region, and see me premiere my live Monastir show in the capital city of Skpoje! Ready for an adventure of a lifetime? All info can be found here.
When I started my career twenty years ago, I dreamed of one day performing with Israeli legend, Yehoram Gaon. Not only is Gaon an icon of Israeli music, he is one of the greatest Ladino singers of all time.
Two decades later, my dream has come true.
Gaon recorded a song for my 2021 album, Monastir, but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, I was not able to be in the studio with him at the time of recording. But in the summer of 2021, I traveled to Israel and I got my chance to film the song with Gaon - in person.
The popular Spanish song, Jo la Keria, was adapted by many Sephardic Balkan communities. The Ladino version on Monastir is one that was arranged by Moritz Romano, the son of the last Rabbi who served the Jewish community of Monastir before it disappeared. It is a song about lost love- a poignant way to remember the beautiful community that once was.
And here is my dream with Gaon, realized and released today. I hope you enjoy.
For lyrics and more information, please visit Monastir here.
I am humbled and honored to have received The Young Leadership Award from the Sephardic Brotherhood of America this week. To be acknowledged for my work bringing Ladino to young and older is beyond gratifying. Thank you to everyone who has helped me reach this point of my career!
When the organization Be'chol Lashon asked me to look back and reflect on my career, I thought, "I'm too young to write a retrospective!" And then I realized I have been doing the work to share Ladino culture for a full TWO DECADES now. So I agreed to write it, and I'm so happy I did. In this three-part series, I got the chance to think about how my work fits into a larger picture of Sephardic life. I invite you to read it and learn about how I got to where I am today!
I'm a dual citizen! After a 2-year process, I recently received my Portuguese citizenship through the Sephardic right of return program. Do you think you might be eligible, too? I wrote a detailed White Paper to walk you through the process! I'd love to help you on your citizenship journey. Learn more here!
Wow! What a way to start the new Jewish year! Today I received an award from the Jewish media outlet, Alma., for my album, Monastir, which one BEST JEWISH ALBUM of the year! I truly am so honored. Thanks to everyone who has supported this project this past year. More meaningful work to come in 5782!
The last time I performed on an actual stage, in front of a live audience, was March 7, 2020 - until this weekend! What an immense amount of joy and healing for my soul it was to be able to sing - IN PERSON - in New York City with my music partner, Shai Bachar. I have enjoyed Zooming throughout the past year+, but there's nothing like performing in person. Thanks to The Museum of Jewish Heritage and to everyone who came out to the theater- and here's to hoping live performances can continue in the weeks and months ahead!