Steven Capsuto (translator)

Scenes of Jewish Life in Alsace

Scenes of Jewish Life in Alsace

E-book: USD 6.99; Paperback: USD 11.99
Jewish Tales from the French Countryside

A Jewish writer in 1850s Paris returns to the Yiddish-speaking French village where he grew up, and writes lovingly about local Jewish life, personalities, customs and legends.

Meet Salomon and Yedele and their loved ones. Share their joys, foods, courtships, religious observances and holiday celebrations. Hear Alsatian storytellers spin tales of ghosts and sorcery, and of "wonder rabbis" who could banish demons and lift curses.

Originally published in French from 1849 to 1860, these delightful tales capture a very special Jewish world that was already disappearing quickly. [Note: The e-book edition has a different cover but identical content.]
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Sephardic Jews and the Spanish Language

Sephardic Jews and the Spanish Language

E-book: USD 7.99; Paperback: USD 12.99

With letters and photos from Jews in early-1900s Turkey, Morocco, Palestine, Austria and Romania

In 1903, four centuries after Spain expelled the Jews, a Spanish senator launched a campaign to have his country reopen relations with their descendants, the Sephardic Jews. To promote the campaign, he wrote this classic book, now available in a new annotated translation.

Eager to let Jews speak for themselves, he devoted a third of the book to photos and letters from Sephardim in different countries, in which they describe their communities, synagogues, schools, families, literature and aspirations

They also wrote to him about Ladino—the Judeo-Spanish language that many of them still used at home and in worship. The book documents Sephardic life at a turning point: the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when many young Sephardim were starting to reject the Spanish language that their ancestors had passed down from generation to generation since 1492.

Senator Pulido’s writings, lectures and organizing earned him the nickname “the Apostle of the Sephardic Jews.” His books on this topic continue to be cited frequently by scholars of Sephardic history.

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Jewish Immigrants in Early 1900s America: A Visitor’s Account

Jewish Immigrants in Early 1900s America: A Visitor’s Account

E-book: USD 2.99; Paperback with color and b/w images: USD 16.99

With more than 50 vintage photos

Millions of Jews came to the United States from the 1880s to 1920s, most of them fleeing poverty and persecution. As the U.S. Jewish population swelled from 250,000 to 4 million, they built new identities and strong communities for themselves.

From Jewish farming settlements to the Lower East Side, Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu describes American Jewish life as it was during his 1904 tour of the eastern states. “I had already visited most of the Jewish quarters in Europe, Asia and Africa,” he explained. Now he longed to see how the refugees were faring in the New World. What he saw amazed and impressed him.

That autumn, he gave an enthusiastic, insightful talk in Paris, praising a “land of wonders and liberty” where long-oppressed Jews were thriving. It was published in French in 1905 as a booklet with no pictures. This new English translation adds dozens of vintage photographs and modern captions.

Visit the vibrant world of Jewish immigrants at the start of the last century: their community organizations and synagogues, schools and libraries, Yiddish newspapers and Yiddish theaters, labor unions and Zionist organizations.

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Brown Scarf Blues

Brown Scarf Blues

Ebook: 9.99 Paperback: 17.95

Not long ago, the Moroccan-Israeli poet Mois Benarroch asked me to translate his 2015 novella about a Sephardic writer seeking his roots and recalling a lost past. A 2018 revision of that translation is now available.

Though it's from another publisher, it will appeal to some readers of the Between Wanderings Collection:

Reeling from the deaths of two loved ones, an Israeli writer travels to Spain—his ancestors' homeland—for a conference of Sephardic Jews. In Seville, he finds a scarf that comforts him for thirteen days. Then, just as suddenly, it vanishes in Madrid. The scarf becomes a symbol of loss: of goodbyes to things and people.

But just as he is letting go of his dreams, he meets a group of Spanish Jews who were lost in the Amazon for 150 years, whom he once wrote about in a novel. Did he merely make them up? Can imagination shape reality?

Narrated through many voices and viewpoints, Brown Scarf Blues spans countries—Morocco, Brazil, the United States and Israel—and languages—Hebrew, French, Spanish, Portuguese and especially Haketia: the Moroccan Judeo-Spanish speech that hangs on like a living-dead remnant of a vanished culture... the words and expressions left behind by a lost world.

In a short addendum, the author shares fragmented memories of his childhood in the Jewish community of Tetouan, Morocco.

[Pricing is accurate as of July 2019, but the publisher may change prices without advising us.]

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