Spanish and Ladino Cultures

The population of Be’er-Sheva is blessed with Jews from all over Latin America and other Spanish-speaking countries , as well as people with a Ladino heritagewho enrich our local culture.

Video-clip on Be’er-Sheva in Spanish at:

Spanish speakers and culture

“Gente” (lit., people) is the association for immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries  that also publishes the Gente Latinoamericana Spanish newspaper. It has an ongoing project called: “Comunidad de apoyo” that tries to find the best residential solutions for the elderly. “Gente” also usually holds dinner-dance parties once or twice a year for all the members. The clubhouse is located on Yisra’el Yish’ayahu St. adjacent to the Rimonim” Elementary School in Yud-Aleph – Ophelia 10:00-12:00 & 17:00-19:00, 050-7248002.

“Olei Be’er-Sheva” also an immigrant union for Jews from Latin America, Spain &EL_GAUCHO Portugal, with a clubhouse in the Old City at 38 Gershon St. They also publish a digital newsletter and hold a couple of events each year – Office hours: 8:30-12:30, 08-6278758 or Gil 052-4708433.  

Conservative Congregation “Eshel Avraham” in Tet has a sizable Spanish-speaking membership and offers classes, clubs and consultations in Spanish, as well as in Hebrew – Claudio Beiter 08-6420989.Claudio Balter

Ladino speakers and culture

The Moshe David Gaon Center for Ladino Culture was founded in 2007 at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev inBGU logo2 cooperation with the University of Granada ladino-culturein Spain. The Gaon Center teaches Ladino, promotes Ladino culture & provides student scholarships for research on Ladino culture, as well as organizing occasional Ladino cultural events open to the public- 08-6479677. Some key academics at the center are: Prof. Tamar Alexander-Frizer, Dr. Yaakov Bentolila & Dr. Eliezer Papo. 

gaon-center-for-ladino-culture The National Authority for Ladino Culture in Be’er-Sheva is represented by Roni Arazi and Shlomo Ventura –,   

Yosi Moustaki (b.1939-) is a well-known singer/song-writer who was born in Cairo, Egypt, fled with his family during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, and reached Be’er-Sheva, Israel in 1949, among the first 500 Israeli families to settle here. Yosi MustakiHe has a special repertoire of Ladino music and folklore. In 2010, the City of Be’er-Sheva showed its appreciation, honoring him as an “Esteemed Citizen” and, in 2012, he also received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Union of Israeli Artists.

Annual memorials

Every year in July, memorial ceremonies are held, remembering the 115 victims of the Hizballah terrorist bombings that occurred in Buenos Aires, Argentina in July 1994 at the Israeli Embassy and at the “Amia” Jewish Community Center

Other commemorative items

ladino_stamp               ladino-coin


Author: etheleakatzenell

I came about 45 years ago from Philadelphia, PA (a city of American founding fathers) to Be'er-Sheva, Israel (the city of Abraham, the biblical Patriarch) and have never regretted that move. Be'er-Sheva is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. My four adult children and 5 grandchildren, all born here, still live and work happily in Be'er-Sheva. This is a place of endless opportunity and open horizons.

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