Koén-Sarano, Matilda 1939- (Matildah Cohen Kohen-Sarano, Mathilde Cohen Sarano, Matilda Cohen Sarano, Matilda Koen Sarano)

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Koén-Sarano, Matilda 1939- (Matildah Cohen Kohen-Sarano, Mathilde Cohen Sarano, Matilda Cohen Sarano, Matilda Koen Sarano)


Birth name, Mathilde Cohen Sarano; born July 31, 1939, in Milan, Italy; daughter of Alfredo (a community leader) and Diana Sarano; married Aharon Cohen (a manager), 1960; children: Liora Cohen Kelman, Josef A., Limor Cohen Arzi. Ethnicity: "Sephardi." Education: Attended Bocconi University; Hebrew University of Jerusalem, B.A., 1987. Religion: Jewish.


Home—Jerusalem, Israel. E-mail—[email protected]


Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel, staff member, 1974-97; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, teacher of Ladino language, 1996-2002; retired, 2002. Kol Israel, broadcaster, including news reporter in Ladino, 1995-2004, and host of programs featuring Judeo-Spanish music, folktales, and poetry, 1996—; guest on other Israeli radio programs. Midreshet Amalia, teacher of Judeo-Spanish folktales, 1991-92, 1998-99; Center for Classical Oriental Music and Dance, Jerusalem, teacher of Ladino culture, 2002-03; National Authority for Ladino and Its Culture, counselor and teacher, 1998-99; Bet Shmuel, Ladino teacher, 2005-06; storyteller, appearing throughout Israel and abroad; conference participant. Volunteer at schools and retirement homes.


(Under name Matilde Cohen Sarano) Storia di Giochà (stories of the Mediterranean), Sansoni (Florence, Italy), 1990, school edition, 1991.

Viní kantaremos (Judeo-Spanish songs), privately printed (Jerusalem, Israel), 1993.

(Under name Matilda Cohen Sarano; editor) La storie del Re Salomone; e le leggende del profeta Elia, e racconti di re e sultani, e di ricchi e di mendicanti, Sansoni (Milan, Italy), 1995, translation by Reginetta Haboucha published (under name Matilda Koén-Sarano) as King Solomon and the Golden Fish: Tales from the Sephardic Tradition, Wayne State University Press (Detroit, MI), 2004.

(Under name Matilda Koen-Sarano) De Saragosa a Yerushaláyim (Sephardi stories), Ibercaja (Zaragoza, Spain), 1995.

Sefaradis de dor en dor (musical), composed by Hayim Tsur, Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (Jerusalem, Israel), 1997, adaptation for radio, 1999.

Mil i un Djohá (musical), composed by Hayim Tsur, [Jerusalem, Israel], 1998, English translation by Gloria J. Ascher, 2003.

Kuentos salados djudeo-espanyoles (stories), Editorial Capitelum (Valencia, Spain), 2000.

Maridos i mujeres (musical for radio), composed by Hayim Tsur, privately printed (Jerusalem, Israel), 2000.

Tres ermanikas (musical), composed by Hayim Tsur, privately printed (Jerusalem, Israel), 2003.

(Collector and editor) Folktales of Joha, Jewish Trickster, translated from Ladino by David Herman, illustrated by Ezra Masch, Jewish Publication Society (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

El kurtijo enkantado (Ladino folktales), Nur Hafakot (Jerusalem, Israel), 2003.

(Under name Matildah Kohen-Sarano) Ritmo antiko: poezias i kantigas (poems and songs, with notes), privately printed (Jerusalem, Israel), 2005.

(Under name Matilda Koen Sarano) Kuentos del bel para abasho (folktales), Editions Shalom (Istanbul, Turkey), 2005.

Por el plazer de kontar: kuentos de mi vida (stories), Nur Afakot (Jerusalem, Israel), 2006.

Recordings with music by Hayim Tsur include Jewish Ladino Songs, released by Hataklit (Ramat-Gan, Israel), 1993; Nostaljía, Hataklit, 1995; and Sefaradís de dor en dor, Hataklit, 1999; also recorded Dí ke no es tadre, music by Avraham Reuveni, 2002. Musicals have also been published in a privately printed collection, 2002. Author of Ladino curriculum materials, 1999-2002. Contributor to Ladino-language periodicals in Israel and Belgium.


Matilda Koén-Sarano told CA: "My motivation for writing comes from inside me, as it has since early childhood. It is a vital need, a desire to express my thoughts, to fill my time without becoming bored, to ‘speak’ with others through the written word, to leave testimonials of things past, which would otherwise be lost.

"My work is influenced by my father, Alfredo Sarano, who taught me how to write and urged me to use my talents to help our Judeo-Spanish language survive and flourish; by other family members, including ancestors I never knew in life, their lives and Judeo-Spanish legacy; and my own experiences, including encounters with artists in the European and American cultural tradition, like writers Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott.

"I am inspired by my concern that the language and culture of my ethnic group are disappearing and by the desire to keep them alive as much as possible. This language is Judeo-Spanish (Ladino), the language of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492, who lived in the Ottoman Empire for 500 years and continue to live, albeit dispersed, in many parts of the world."

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Koén-Sarano, Matilda 1939- (Matildah Cohen Kohen-Sarano, Mathilde Cohen Sarano, Matilda Cohen Sarano, Matilda Koen Sarano)

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