The Sephardic population in the Americas is formed by a large number of small groups, divided according to the communities of origin in the Iberian Peninsula, the Middle East, and North Africa, and dispersed among English-, Spanish-, Portuguese-, and French-speaking societies. While the emigration from the Ottoman Empire that began one hundred years ago resulted in the fragmentation of Sephardic communities, their dynamism allowed them to adapt and survive, striving to retain the old yet gesturing continually to the new. On the threshold of the twenty-first century, these communities became subject to transnational migrations and globalization that called for a new definition of the boundaries between the different Sephardic groups and new interpretations of their culture.
In this pioneering collection, Bejarano and Aizenberg provide a vital contribution to the long-neglected study of the Sephardic experience in the Americas. Spanning from the 1908 revolution of the young Turks that motivated migration from the Ottoman Empire to the establishment of new Sephardic centres in South Florida, the editors draw from the fields of history, literature, musicology, and linguistics. Focusing on recent developments such as the growing participation of Sephardim in Jewish politics and the emergence of orthodox trends that challenge separate Sephardic identities, contributors highlight the growing influence of Sephardim on the culture of their respective countries.