• Posted August 04, 2017
    Friends--

    Exciting news to report: the album is finished!!! The music part, that is. Today I received the final master and I'm absolutely thrilled with it! Now we're just finishing up the art design and other behind-the-scenes factors that go into making an album ready to go. The next update from me will include a preview track and an update on when you can expect to receive your donation perks!

    In the meantime, I also wanted to share with you some big news in the Ladino world. The Spanish Royal Academy has announced this week that they are setting up a branch in Israel dedicated to the preservation of Ladino. I can't stress enough how big a deal this is!! If you haven't seen the international news, here are some links that further explain what this means:

    The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/01/spain-honours-ladino-language-of-jewish-exiles

    Tablet Magazine: http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/242293/525-years-to-the-day-after-kicking-out-its-jews-spain-honors-their-language-ladino

    The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/spain-announces-bid-to-preserve-the-judeo-spanish-language-in-israel/

    And even the UK paper, The Jewish Chronicle, when referring to the news cited my new Ladino children's book as being part of the Ladino resurgence!
    https://www.thejc.com/news/world/linguists-turn-conservation-efforts-to-ladino-1.442298

    So there you have it-- Ladino is slowly but surely gaining the attention it deserves. I hope my new bilingual album will help even more people have access to this cultural world treasure...

    More soon!

    Yours, Sarah
  • Posted July 12, 2017
    Dear friends,

    I have been holed up the past couple of weeks finishing up the recording for Together/Endjuntos! We are so thrilled with how things sound so far. Recording has been happening in both New York and in Israel, and we are so grateful to all the musicians who have participated.

    Just to give you a tiny idea of the work behind the scenes, here are 2 clips of rehearsing and recording for the album. The first, is of the amazing bassist Rob Rodriguez recording on our merengue-style Shabbat song (Buen Shabat) in Queens, NY, and the second clip is of a beautiful string quartet recording in Tel Aviv for our Shavuot ballad:

    Clip 1: https://vimeo.com/225285923
    Clip 2: https://vimeo.com/225290450

    Much much more to come soon!

    In the meantime, I wanted to also let you know that my new illustrated bilingual children's book, Ora de Despertar- Time to Wake Up, was just published this week!! The book is particularly special because not only is it bilingual (English and Ladino), but it also highlights Sephardic culture, which is something rare to find in Jewish children’s books today. The story connects universal rituals of waking up in the morning with the Hebrew morning prayer of gratitude, modeh ani. It’s meant for ages 0–5 and uses very simple words in English and Ladino to make it as easy as possible for families to engage with the text. And most importantly, we wanted to make the book bright and colorful to show families how joyous and bright Sephardic culture is! More information on the book can be found here: http://www.saraharoeste.com/book:_ora_de_despertar/

    Until the next update, thanks again for your continued support!

    Yours,
    Sarah
  • Posted June 23, 2017
    Friends,

    I had two milestones this week I wanted to share with you! The first is that on Wednesday I baked my family's special "tadliko" cookies for the first time with my daughter. It's a special Sephardic cookie, also known to some as a biscocho! The recipe has been passed down in my family for generations, and it was truly moving for me to make them alongside my daughter. (You can watch me as I bake the cookies live, and see the final product, on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/saraharoeste/ )

    And yesterday, I had the honor of singing with the legendary Flory Jagoda! For some of you, you might know her from her monumental song, "Ocho Kandelikas." For others, just know that Flory, at age 93, is one of the world's greatest treasures for her voice and her Ladino preservation work. She is an icon. (You can learn more about her here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flory_Jagoda) It was one of the greatest thrills of my career to sit aside her sharing music in a 5-hour private jam session! A photo of us is here, and you can watch some live footage that was filmed of a snippet of the evening here: https://www.facebook.com/saraharoeste/ .

    What do these events have in common? They both involved passing traditions on from one generation to the next. That is the beauty of Ladino. It has survived 500+ years being passed from family to family and generation to generation.

    My heart is bursting from the last 48 hours. Simply put, I am so inspired from these two occasions and I have faith that Ladino will continue onwards...
  • Posted June 15, 2017
    Friends: I wanted to share with you an Op-ed I wrote that was published in The Forward this week.

    http://forward.com/opinion/world/374406/rescue-ladino-the-language-of-sephardic-jews/

    Losing a language is losing a culture. My piece lays out why I am so passionate about my work-- and why I believe Ladino is so relevant today in this globalized world.

    Thanks for reading and for helping to champion my work to keep Ladino culture alive!

    Today marks the final 10-day countdown to raise any additional funds for my project's post-production. Please continue to share my project link with friends and family in this final homestretch; I appreciate it so much!

    Yours, Sarah
  • Posted June 09, 2017
    Hello hello! I've been busy busy recording all week-- thanks to all of your support! What a joy it's been officially to lay out this album. Here's me in action!

    And here's a preview of the song list (order is still subject to change):

    1. Buen Shabat
    2. Buena Semana
    3. Thank You For The Trees
    4. El Dia De Purim
    5. 8 Days Sephardic
    6. Ketubá De La Ley
    7. Anyada Buena
    8. Come Step in My Sukkah
    9. Baylamos
    10. Bimuelo

    We've got styles to appeal to lots of senses: merengue, bhangra, french cabaret, hip-hop, folk roots and more. Ladino is that universal.

    We're recording some incredible musicians in the coming 2 weeks (including a beautiful string quartet out of Tel Aviv), and I'll be sharing some preview mixes as soon as I can...

    In the meantime, just a reminder to please keep sharing the project to any friends or family you think would be interested! We still have a ways to go to raise money for all the post-production (mastering, duplication, design, distribution , PR etc.). And if you have a corporate match program through your company, please be in touch! I can send you all the information you need to double the impact you've already had...

    Many thanks to all for your continued support!

  • Posted May 27, 2017
    We did it!! We did it!! We did it!!

    I couldn't have done it without you.

    Here is my video message of thanks:
    https://vimeo.com/219128397

    Thanks to you I can go into the recording studio the week after next and make this album happen.

    The campaign will stay open for another 30 days (but without the all-or-nothing pressure now!). If you know of anyone who would still like the tax credit and to support this endeavor (we're still fundraising to hit the larger stretch goal- what happens after the recording is finished), feel free to continue sharing!

    In the meantime, from the bottom of my heart, thank you thank you thank you. I won't let you down.

    Yours,
    Sarah
  • Posted May 18, 2017
    Author: Sarah Aroeste
    We're one week out and I'm so appreciative of everyone's support so far. Part of my campaign is also about raising awareness about my new bilingual approach to Ladino preservation. Alongside this music project, I've also been working on a children's book! Here is an exclusive first-look sample of one of the beginning pages. My hope is that by creating easily accessible bilingual materials, more people (young and old!) will have access to the beauty and relevance of Ladino culture. The music album I'm working on, Together/Endjuntos, will take this philosophy to a whole new level. Thank you for your continued faith in my work!
  • Posted May 11, 2017
    We reached our first goal! Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far. Here’s a quick thank you from the president of my fan club:

    https://vimeo.com/217079685

    It’s because of her (and her sister) that I’m so committed to this work. I want to make sure my children grow up in a world where Ladino still exists. You’re part of helping to make it happen.

    Now on to raising the next part- I've got two weeks to make it happen. Stay tuned!
  • Posted May 04, 2017
    Thank you to everyone who has supported Together/Endjuntos so far! We are one week in and doing great-- we've almost reached our first target, a quarter of the overall project!

    As I stare out my window and see the the leaves and flowers budding, I am so grateful to finally be able to be outside after a long winter. I wanted to share with you a draft of some lyrics for our song about Tu B'shvat - a thank you to trees! I wrote this song based on a lovely Ladino saying about the trees marrying and the first flowers appearing. Everything is still in draft form until we officially go into the studio, but here's a first inside look, enjoy!

    Se kazan los árvoles

    Se kazan los árvoles i empesan a salir las primeras flores, las primeras flores
    (The trees marry and then the first flowers start to appear)

    Happy New Year to the trees
    And all you give for us that pleases
    Thank you for the flowers and bees
    Thank you for the cherries
    Thank you for the trees.

    Se kazan los árvoles i empesan a salir las primeras flores, las primeras flores

    Happy New Year to the trees
    And all you give for us that pleases
    Thank you for the figs and dates
    Thank you for the pomegranates
    Thank you for the trees.

    Se kazan los árvoles i empesan a salir las primeras flores, las primeras flores

    Happy New Year to the trees
    And all you give for us that pleases
    Thank you for the nuts and plums
    Thank you for the raisins, yum!
    Thank you for the trees.

    Se kazan los árvoles i empesan a salir las primeras flores, las primeras flores

    ---------------

    Thank you to the trees, and thank you to you! Your support is truly helping this endeavor blossom...

    Yours,
    Sarah

    P.S. If I may ask one more favor, please continue to share this Hatchfund project with any others you think might be interested...Thank you!!!

Together/Endjuntos: The first-ever English/Ladino bilingual holiday recording and musical educational resource.