The Life and Music of Flory Jagoda

Sun. March 22, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Congregation Beth Israel

301 East Jefferson Street, Charlottesville, Va. 22902

Hosted by: Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities


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Author Debbie Levy (The Key from Spain: Flory Jagoda and Her Music) and musician Susan Gaeta celebrate the life and music of beloved Sephardic musician Flory Jagoda. Levy will read from and discuss her children’s picture book about Jagoda, and Gaeta will perform selected pieces written by the singer-songwriter. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.

Why should you attend?

“Deb­bie Levy and Son­ja Wim­mer have cre­at­ed an infor­ma­tive trib­ute to the Jew­ish lan­guage, Ladi­no, and one of its most beloved and dis­tin­guished voic­es, Flo­ry Jago­da. The Key from Spain is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed both for chil­dren and adults inter­est­ed in learn­ing about Sephardic cul­ture and history.”―Jewish Book Council

“Immigrant musician Flory Jagoda preserved a repertoire of Ladino and Sephardic songs learned from her Bosnian Jewish family. A descendant of the Altaras family forced to leave Spain during the Inquisition, Flory and her family escape from the Balkans during World War II. Flory’s childhood is filled with the stories about ancestors and the music played and sung in Ladino by her talented family. Levy gently weaves the history of the Sephardim into the story of Flory’s specific Balkan Jewish life. Lovely mixed-media illustrations limn several scenes across the centuries, adding perspective to an element of Sephardic culture that is mostly unknown today in American Jewish circles. Based on a true story, an inspirational reclamation of history.”―Kirkus Reviews