When Flory’s ancestors were forced to leave Spain during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, they took with them their two most precious possessions: the key to their old house and the Ladino language. When Flory left Europe after World War II, she carried Ladino with her, along with her other precious possessions: her harmoniku and the music of her family and their village in Bosnia, where they had settled after the Expulsion from Spain. But what of the key?
Flory Jagoda, now a nonagenarian, is known as the keeper of the flame of Sephardic music, as well as of the Ladino language. Flory traces her family back to Al-Andalus–medieval Muslim Spain–and then to Turkey and Bosnia. She has brought Sephardic music to people everywhere, around the country and the world, on stages, in schools, and in homes.
Ages 4 and up
*”Levy’s writing and Wimmer’s mixed-media illustrations strike the perfect synergy. . . . The writing is poetic and lyrical, effortlessly weaving centuries of history into the story while maintaining a strikingly intimate tone.”
—School Library Journal (starred review)
“An inspirational reclamation of history.”
“A worthy . . . homage to a language and its fervent promoter.”
Flory Jagoda, with Susan Gaeta and Howard Bass, perform Flory’s famous song “Ocho Kandelikas.”
“La Yave d’Espanya” (“The Key from Spain”)
Trio Sefardi, a group inspired by Flory, sing her song “La Yave d’Espanya.”
“Sviraj Harmoniku” (“Play Your Accordion”)
This is Flory’s song about her escape from Zagreb on a train during World War II.