Arts and Music

Broaden students' artistic horizons by introducing them to a diverse array of musicians, visual artists, and creatives from various Jewish backgrounds and experiences

Arts and Music

Broaden students' artistic horizons by introducing them to a diverse array of musicians, visual artists, and creatives from various Jewish backgrounds and experiences
Present your students with various types of Jewish art, offering a diverse array of artistic expressions from a wide spectrum of Jewish communities

Dive into the world of Mizrahi and Sephardi metalworking, focusing on the creation of religious ceremonial objects like kiddush cups, Shabbat lights (nerot), hanukias, menorahs, besamim holders, rimmonim (Torah crowns), and textiles such as this Fasha (Torah binder), among other artifacts. This exploration unveils the intricate craftsmanship and cultural significance embedded in these metalwork pieces within Jewish traditions.

Celebrate Middle Eastern Jewish clothing in the Journey to the Mizrah curriculum guide(JIMENA).

Read Jewish poetry from Spain, Yemen, New York, Iran, Greece, Israel, Morocco, and Iraq: The Sephardi and Mizrahi Poetry of Exile and the Return to Zion. (Distinctions: A Sephardi and Mizrahi Journal)

Delve into the artistic legacy of a particular Sephardic community in Turkey: Izmir Jewish Community Foundation, lead by Nesim Bencoya.

Enhance students’ understanding of religious practice by exploring the traditional religious art of Sephardi and Mizrahi communities

Sephardic and Mizrahi ketubot (wedding contracts) resources:

The New York Public Library features ketubot from Iran, Gibraltar, India, Italy, Amsterdam and India.

The Sephardic Studies Digital Collection at the University of Washington contains ketubot from Iraq, Cuba, Tukey, Iran and Seattle.

Illuminated Haggadot from Sephardic communities:

The Sarajevo Haggadah at the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, [ca. 1350, Northern Spain]

The Golden Haggadah at The British Library, [ca. 1320–1330, Catalonia, Spain]

The Barcelona Haggadah at The British Library, [ca. 1340, Catalonia, Spain]

Introduce students to North African and Middle Eastern modes of music

Discover the significance of makam, piyyutim, bakashot, zemirot, pizmonim, and nouba in the rich tapestry of Jewish musical tradition. Immerse yourself in the melodic sounds created by Sephardi and Mizrahi musicians, featuring instruments like the darbuka, tambourines, oud (ud), and qanún. Uncover the diverse cultural influences, including Greek, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic, that shape the unique and vibrant landscape of Sephardic music.

Explore Sephardic and Mizrahi religious melodies:


Stemming from the Arabic term meaning "embroidered," Matrouz denotes the practice of integrating Arabic stanzas into Hebrew poetry. Originating among the Jews of Andalusia, Matrouz represents a harmonic convergence of Hebrew and Arabic elements, creating a unique and culturally rich tradition.

Here are some resources related to Matrouz:

Habiba Messika; Born in Tunis, Tunisia [1899–1930]

Morteza Naydavud; Born in Tehran, Iran [1900 – 1990]

Ezra Aharon ("Azuri"); Born in Baghdad, Iraq [1903 – 1995]

Rabbi David Bouzaglo; Born in Casablanca, Morocco [1903–1975]
Watch the documentary film “Song of Loves” about the life of Rabbi Bouzaglo on VIMEO.

Saleh and Daoud Al-Kuwaity, Born in Sharq, Kuwait Saleh (1908-1986); Daoud (1910- 1976)

Raymond Leyris (Cheikh Raymond); Born in Batna, Algeria [1912 – 1961]

Sultana Daoud (Reinette l'Oranaise); Born in Tiaret, Algeria [1918 – 1998]

Layla Murad; Born in Cairo, Egypt [1918 – 1995]

Jo Amar; Born in Settat, Morocco [1930 – 2009]

Aharon Amram; Born in Sana'a, Yemen [1939 - present]

A-WA; Modern Yemenite music from Israel

Watch a lecture on “Syrian Judeo-Arabic Music and Liturgy” (Jewish Music Institute)

Discover music in Ladino:

Rosa Eskenazi; Born in Istanbul, Turkey, lived in Salonica, Greece [mid-1890s – 1980]

Flory Jagoda; Born in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia [1923 – 2021]

Hazan Isaac Azose; Born in Seattle, WA [b. 1930] to parents from Tekirdag and Brusa, Turkey

Yasmin Levy; Born in Jerusalem, Israel [b. 1975] to parents from Izmir, Turkey

Sarah Aroeste; Born in Washington, D.C. [b. 1976] to a family with roots in Monastir (Bitola)

Baladino; "Baladi” means “land” in Arabic and “Ladino” refers to the language of Sephardi Jews.

View the documentary film Song of the Sephardi by David Raphael featuring Ladino and Hebrew songs from Rivza Raz in Jerusalem and members of the Seattle Sephardic community.

Watch The Sephardic Ladino Tradition: Judeo-Spanish religious songs and liturgical chants according to the Turkish Balkan tradition, featuring Samuel Benaroya, Leo Azose, Bension Maimon and Rabbi Solomon Maimon. Follow the text to The Sephardic Ladino Tradition in the companion booklet at this link.

Read Bailar a la Turka to learn about the vinyl collections of Sephardi and Turkish music in Seattle.