Hebrew Aljamiado Research Group

“Aljamiado” is the word used to describe texts in an Ibero-Romance language written using either the Arabic or Hebrew writing systems. During the Middle Ages, Jews in the Iberian Peninsula spoke Romance languages, but sometimes turned to the Hebrew alef-bet when it came to writing that language. Hebrew Aljamiado is much more than a writing system: it is a material testimony to the complex reality lived by the Jewish community, both in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Sephardic diaspora — after the expulsion of the Jews from Castile in 1492. This writing system is not only relevant to people who study “old things,” it is still very much alive and kicking, the manifestation of a culture that has survived to this day. Post-expulsion, Sephardic Jews continued using the Hebrew alef-bet to write and read in Judeo-Spanish.

Besides transcribing texts written in Hebrew Aljamiado into Romance languages, this research group studies the most important aspects of each work. We have developed our transcription system, and we are preparing a joint publication on the findings of our research.

Professor John Dagenais <dagenais@humnet.ucla.edu>

Roxanna Colón-Cosme <roxannacolon@g.ucla.edu>

Tania Varela <taniavarela@ucla.edu>

Nitzaira Delgado-García

Payton Phillips Quintanilla

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