At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Spanish Senator Ángel Pulido launched a political campaign with the aim of establishing contacts between Spain and the Jews of the Sephardi diaspora. As part of that campaign, Pulido maintained correspondence with around 150 Sephardi Jews, most of them from Turkey, the Balkans and North Africa. Pulido’s correspondence seems not to have been preserved. However, in his book Españoles sin patria y la raza sefardí (Spaniards without a Homeland and the Sephardi Race) (1905), he included fragments of the letters as well as a large number of photographs sent to him by his Sephardi correspondents. The published material includes photographs and letters of 48 Sephardi women and has barely received any attention by scholars, who have primarily focused on Pulido’s relation with his most prominent male correspondents. In this article, I examine the main features of Pulido’s correspondence with these women: the image of women suggested by these photographs, the character of the information transmitted to Pulido by his female correspondents and his approach towards Sephardi women of his time.

issue 18 / December 2020 by Paloma Díaz-Mas

Paul Nathan

Publizist, Politiker und Philanthrop 1857-1927

issue 18 / December 2020 by Johann Nicolai

A History of Histories—of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Exchange

A.S. Yahuda and the International Trade of Antiquities, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, 1902-1944

This article provides the first attempt to study comprehensively the influential involvement of the scholar Abraham S. Yahuda (1877-1951) in the international trade of manuscripts and cultural objects. Buoyed by his position as the chair of Rabbinic Language and Literature at the University of Madrid in 1915, Yahuda legitimized and deepened his role in the trade of material objects; his ongoing trade of such objects, in turn, helped to legitimize his scholarship, which continued well after he left Spain. Through a study of previously unpublished files, the piece points to the overlapping of knowledge, power, and the acquiring of antiquities and other objects during the first half of the twentieth century.

issue 18 / December 2020 by Allyson Gonzalez

Inspired by the discovery of a letter written by a Spanish woman under the pseudonym of Marcelina de Quinto to Isaac Molho, editor of the Tesoro de los judíos sefardíes (Treasure of the Sephardic Jews), this article focuses on the persistence of memory of Jewish ancestry within a prominent family of Spanish intellectuals in the 20th century—the Jardiels—and its reenactment in two different generational contexts. While the literary oeuvre of Enrique Jardiel Poncela, one of the most important comic writers of twentieth-century Spain and a staunch supporter of Franco, is tainted by a resolute antisemitic bent, his daughter Evangelina, a psychologist and author of fictional books and journalistic essays, converted to Judaism and strongly identified with the struggles of the State of Israel. Through the analysis of the biographical and intellectual trajectories of these two individuals, the article casts light upon the stereotypes, contradictions and ambivalent attitudes of Spanish intellectuals regarding Jews and Judaism.

issue 18 / December 2020 by Asher Salah

Paradigm Lost

From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality

issue 18 / December 2020 by Menachem Klein

A Tale in the Language of “My Mother Spain”

Carmen Pérez-Avello's Un muchacho sefardí

This article focuses on Carmen Pérez-Avello’s Un muchacho sefardí (A Sephardi Boy), a novel for young readers that that writer, who also happened to belong to Catholic religious order, published in Spain in 1965. The text’s multiple layers make it possible to examine contradictory meanings associated with Jewish and Sephardi themes in the decade that preceded the end of the Francoist dictatorship. On the one hand, Un muchacho sefardí stands out in a historical period in which Paloma Díaz-Más identifies an “absolute silence” with regard to Jewish characters and Jewish themes in Spanish literature. On the other hand, Pérez-Avello tapped into what could be called a “Philo-Sephardi catalogue” in order to craft the book. Un muchacho sefardí represents a unique opportunity to further understand a moment of gradual change and transition with regard to gender roles, the role of the church, and, of course, Spain’s relationship with Sephardi Jews.

issue 18 / December 2020 by Tabea Linhard