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Carleton Sephardic Symposium Features Presentation on Sephardic Prayer and Song

May 14, 2012
By Alex Korsunsky '12

In conjunction with Carleton College’s symposium on Sephardic cultures (the culture of the Jews of Spain who, following their expulsion from the kingdom in 1492, fled to Turkey and Morocco), Isaac Azose, the cantor at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth in Seattle and an expert on Sephardic prayer and song, will give a lecture and demonstration at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 in the Gould Library Athenaeum. This event is free and open to the public.

Born into a Sephardic family of Turkish immigrants, Azose has served as a cantor and leader in the Sephardic community of Seattle, Washington, since the 1960s. He has worked extensively with the community to develop a siddur, or prayer book, that reflects the community’s Sephardic roots, work which culminated in the publication of Siddur Zehut Yosef, now in use in both of Seattle’s Sephardic synagogues. In a further effort to preserve the cultural heritage of this unique community, Azose recorded a substantial portion of the liturgy on a two CD set entitled The Liturgy of Ezra Bessaroth.

This event is sponsored by the Departments of Middle Eastern Languages, Spanish, and Judaic Studies, and by the Distinguished Women Visitors Fund. A full schedule of events taking place as part of Carleton’s symposium on Sephardic Culture and Legacies is available at For more information or disability accommodations, call (507) 222-5437. The Gould Library is located on the Carleton campus off of College Street; it is also accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield.