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Saved by Language - a presentation by Susanna Zaraysky

  • Jewish Comunity Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA, 94115 United States (map)

Free event at the Jewish Community Library / 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco

Moris Albahari, a Sephardic Jew raised in Sarajevo, survived the Holocaust because he spoke Ladino, the language of much of the Sephardic diaspora. He escaped from a train taking Yugoslavian Jews to concentration camps and used Ladino to speak with an Italian Colonel who brought him to safety. Years later, he used Ladino to communicate with a Hispanic U.S. pilot, leading him to a secure partisan base. 

Susanna Zaraysky, the co-producer of the documentary Saved by Language, will use clips from the film and examples of Sephardic music to speak about the history of Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) and the state of the language today.

Susanna Zaraysky is a language specialist and the author of Language is Music. She met Moris Albahari after the Bosnian war while working on economic development projects in Sarajevo.

Program made possible, in part, by Richard Krieg, in honor of David Medlin, and by Carla Ruff, in memory of Dr. Robert Mendle. Co-presented by Lehrhaus Judaica and JFCS Holocaust Center. 

The Jewish Community Library is located on the campus of the Jewish Community High School. Free parking in the building's private garage. Enter garage on Pierce Street, between Ellis and Eddy; buzz intercom for entrance. Pedestrians use gate at Ellis Street and buzz intercom for entrance.

There will be a free public screening and discussion of Saved by Language at the University of San Francisco on October 29 at 6:30 pm, and at the Magnes Museum in Berkeley on November 3rd at 7 pm.  For more information, see