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Rivka Amado

Rivka Amado  Biography

Rivka Amado was born in Holon Israel, and spent most of her adult life in Jerusalem before moving to Berkeley, California in 2004. She traces her roots back to prominent Sephardic families—the Amado’s and the Barbut’s–on both sides of her family. After their expulsion from Spain both families eventually found their way to the Balkans where they remained for generations. Rivka’s parents made aliyah in 1933. She grew up In a Ladino-speaking home in Holon, where she learned traditional melodies from her grandmother, Rivka Amado-Mandil.. (Yes, Sephardim name their children after living relatives.)

For years Rivka sang Ladino songs and played the piano informally, and as well as sang in her synagogue choir in Jerusalem. Since moving to Berkeley, she has dedicated much of her time researching Sephardic culture and performing traditional Ladino music. With the aid of guitarist Joel Siegel, she has developed a program, A Journey Back to Spain, in which she recounts the ways the Jews of Spain have been able to maintain their identity for five hundred years, long after their expulsion, first from Spain and then from the entire Iberian Peninsula. In this program she mixes historical narrative, accounts of Sephardic culture, and popular Ladino songs. Amado and Siegel have performed in many venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, and elsewhere. This program unites Rivka’s two halves; her musical half and her scholarly half. She earned her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1990, held post doctoral fellowships in medical ethics at the Hastings Center and at the Hebrew University, and has published widely in medical ethics and related fields. She has also taught at Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University, Stanford, Berkeley and Princeton, and has received several awards for her scholarship and teaching. Rivka continues her scholarly and her musical work both in the United States and Israel.

In March 2009 she released her first album, Hija Mia, a collection of traditional Ladino songs, accompanied by master guitarist Joel Siegel and an ensemble of other talented musicians. She is planning a second album which will contain more traditional Ladino songs, as well as original compositions of her own in Ladino, Hebrew, and English.

8 Songs Performed by Rivka Amado

 8 Tracks Sung   Add songs to playlist
  • Adio Kerida
  • Dos Amantes
  • Hija Mia Mi Kerida
  • Ken Te Va Ver
  • La Comida la Manyana
  • La Serena
  • Skalericas de Oro
  • Ventanas Altas

Albums by Rivka Amado

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