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Aron Rodrigue

Aron Rodrigue is Charles Michael Professor in Jewish History and Culture at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Humanities Center. Sarah Abrevaya Stein is professor of history and Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies at UCLA. Isaac Jerusalmi is professor emeritus of Bible and Semitic Languages at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati.

Singing Gentile Songs: A Ladino Memoir by Sa’adi Besalel a-Levi

Aron Rodrigue, Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Sa'adi Besalel a-Levi's memoir of life in 19th-century Salonica provides a rare and intimate glimpse into a lost Ottoman Jewish world. Sa'adi was an accomplished singer and composer and a printer who helped to found modern Ladino print culture. He was also a rebel who accused the leaders of the Jewish community of being corrupt, abusive, and fanatical. In response, they excommunicated him—frequently, capriciously, and, in the end, definitively—though with imperfect success.