Blog  Recovering the History of Sephardic Judaism

Recovering the History of Sephardic Judaism

by Rabbi Lisa Bellows and Nicole Jahr, Tiferet Segel (Faculty)

Creativity, talent and Judaism are flourishing in Tiferet Alef!  Yesterday, the last full camp day before Shabbat nears, was filled with music, drama and art in Tiferet.  Each of our studios prepared for our showcase this morning when our chanichim (campers) had a chance to share with each other the compositions and pieces, their written, directed and one-act scenes, and paintings, sculptures and designs they have been working on in studio with their moomchim (specialists) and madrichim (counselors).

To be segel (faculty) in  Tiferet is a real blessing.  To witness our chanichim infuse and weave this summer’s theme of the Golden Age of Spain is particularly meaningful. Professor Richard Freund, a scholar of Sephardic Jewry writes about the Golden Age: “The rich Jewish culture of [12th century] Spain permeates Judaism to this day…. The customs, language, traditions, food and art, as well as Sephardic Judaism, spread out through the Diaspora.  The first American Jews were Sephardic.  It is important to recover their history.”

Tiferet has done just this and more:  They took the sounds, smells, tastes, sights and feel of the Golden Age and brought it into Tiferet and infused it into their art, drama and music studios creating a stunning tapestry of legacy, presence and hope.


Rabbi Lisa Bellows serves at Congregation Beth Am in Buffalo Grove, IL, and Nicole Jahr is the Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Beth El in Madison, WI.