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Matilda Koén-Sarano
Birth Date
Sephardic Music, Folk

Matilda Koén-Sarano  Biography

Israeli folklorist and ethnomusicologist, teacher and preserver of Ladino language and culture. Born, Milan, Italy, 1939 to a Sephardic family.

Her mother Diana Hadjes and father Alfredo were from Aydin, Turkey. She studied at the Jewish Community School and the University in Milan. Married Aharon Cohen, now the Director General of The National Authority for Ladino and its Culture, in 1960.

She received a B.A. in Italian Literature, Judeo-Spanish and Folklore in 1987 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1974-1994 made a living as a records specialist at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Since 1996 has been on the faculty of Ben Gurion University in the Negev as a Judeo-Spanish language instructor, and also teaches at Midreshet Amalia Jerusalem (since 1991). Since 1998 she has taught a course for Ladino Teachers, organized by The National Authority for Ladino and its Culture, in Jerusalem.

Mathilda has been instrumental in bringing Sephardic music and tales to wide audiences in Israel through radio, through appearances in concerts and events, and through the establishment of Judeo-Spanish clubs. She writes for the Judeo-Spanish Review Aki Yerushalayim and Review Los Muestros in Brussels. In addition to many publications and recordings of folk tales,courses in Ladino language and a Ladino dictionary, Matilda has also published numerous Judeo-Spanish anthologies of folk songs, including Vin kantaremos, (Collection of Judeo-Spanish traditional Songs) Koleksin de kantes djudeo-espanyoles, Edisin de la Autora, Yerushalyim, 1993; and CDs Matilda Koen-Sarano & Hayim Tsur, Nostalja, kantigas nuevas djudeo-espanyolas, (New Judeo-Spanish Songs), Hataklit, Ramat-Gan, 1995 and Matilda Koen-Sarano & Hayim Tsur, Sefarads de dor en dor, (The Musical Comedy “Sepharadis from generation to generation – Judeo-Spanish Songs.) Musical Comedy in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish [Ladino] Songs), Hataklit, Ramat-Gan, 1999.

4 thoughts on “Four Divine States of Mind”

  1. I am reaching out to you on behalf of Saiph Stars, a non-profit organization developed for children battling illnesses, providing them with resources such as videos, songs, games, magazines, etc. to entertain and inspire them while undergoing treatments during their long hospitalizations.
    BH, we have a wide range of performers, singers, storytellers such as Yakov Shwekey, Mordechai Shapiro, Ari Goldwag, Baruch Levine, YBC, Uri Davidi, Rabbi Ashear, Rabbi Lish, Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, Rabbi Erps, Rebbee Hill, Rabbi Pesach Krohn, and many more who have joined our project by allowing us to use their material. In addition, subscriptions such as Mishpacha, Binah, The Circle, Spotlight, JWOW have all joined our project as well BH. All the material will be uploaded to locked iPads and is streamed thru the Saiph Stars App designated to be used by these children.
    We would love to include your material as it would mean a lot to the children.
    Please check out our website for more info at http://www.saiphstars.com.
    It should be a tremendous zechus for you! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

  2. Felice Glazer says:

    I was just sitting at my piano looking over a very old book of songs called the songs we sing by Harry Cooper Smith. I got this book when I went to Anshe emet Sunday school in Chicago. That was in the late forties and fifties. This book is falling apart but I love it and will never part with it until I pass away. Something today just made me decide to look up the name of Harry Coopersmith and that’s how I found this site.

  3. Philip Joseph Brody says:

    Joseph Brody was my great grandfather. Murray Brody was my grandfather and Joseph Brody was my father. I am Philip Joseph Brody born in Queens N.Y. My halfbrother Brian is a saxophone player. Unfortunately I think musical talent skipped me. My great grandfather died before my father was born. Unfortunately my father died around 59 years old. I’m about to be 52 so hopefully I won’t pass before my time.

  4. MARTY KUGLER says:

    Is there any way that I can get the lyrics to Semour Rockoff’s song “Der moiled vet zein.” I know about half the words, but I no longer have the record. I’ve been searching for the lyrics for over 40 years. Thanks, Marty Kugler maak68@gmail.com

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