Definition of Sephardi in US English:

Sephardi

noun

  • 1A Jew of Spanish or Portuguese descent. They retain their own distinctive customs and rituals, preserving Babylonian Jewish traditions rather than the Palestinian ones of the Ashkenazim.

    Compare with Ashkenazi
    • ‘We'd like to sample some of the different sorts of Jewish music, and one of our favourite ports of call is the music of the Sephardim in Spain before 1492.’
    • ‘There were Ashkenazim and Sephardim, Ethiopians and Russians, American students and fourth-generation sabras.’
    • ‘The Sephardi custom is to place the mezuzah straight up vertically.’
    • ‘Unemployment in the squalid neighbourhoods where the Sephardi Jews live is double the national rate of 10 percent.’
    • ‘This affected some 300,000 Sephardim, who were forced to abandon property and possessions as they fled.’
    • ‘The art of preparing fried fish is rooted in the culture of Sephardi Jews of Holland, Spain, and Portugal.’
    • ‘Its history means, of course, that it is an Ashkenazi rather than a Sephardi food.’
    • ‘Entire Sephardi families arrived at Zion Square and the other major squares, set themselves up with their kids and their food right there on the ground, and spent most of the day there among the other celebrants.’
    • ‘The Derridas were Spanish Sephardim who fled to Algeria during the Inquisition.’
    • ‘Even if this move brought Sephardim into larger Jewish contexts and communities, it proffered the new challenge of a new kind of minority status: that of being Sephardic among Ashkenazi Jews.’
    • ‘The wealthier and more influential Sephardim spoke Italian and Ladino, while the Yiddish of the Ashkenazim had to compete with the more prestigious English.’
    • ‘There was total unity and solidarity of purpose among us - religious and secular, left wing and right wing, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, old and young, rich and poor - an occurrence unprecedented in our sadly fragmented society.’
    • ‘Collaboration between Sephardim and Ashkenazim was limited, due to differences of language and culture.’
    • ‘The study was carried out in a Jewish town inhabited mainly by Israeli-born Jews, with an average ethnic mix of Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews.’
    • ‘Just as the bullets and the bombs don't differentiate between religious and secular, between Ashkenazi and Sephardi, between left and right wing, neither should we.’
    • ‘So, with relief, I turned to the account given of the Sephardim from Portugual and Morocco, or the Yemeni or East African Jews, those with darker skins and generally lower incomes than the Western Ashkenazim.’
    • ‘Having been expelled from Spain in 1492, the Sephardim, speaking Ladino, a Spanish dialect, found refuge in north Africa, the Levant, the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands, and Italy.’
    • ‘There has occasionally been social friction between them; in Israel, for instance, Sephardi leaders have sometimes complained that Ashkenazim have privileged access to government office.’
    • ‘The first thing that stood out was the family group: an old-time Sephardi family from the turn of the century.’
    • ‘When expelled and dispossessed by Christian Europe, the Sephardim found refuge under the protection of the Caliph, in dominions of Islam as far apart as Bosnia and Baghdad.’
    1. 1.1 Any Jew of the Middle East or North Africa.
      • ‘There is the Zionism of Sephardi Jews from the mainly Muslim countries, and the Zionism of the Ashkenazi Jews, mainly from Europe.’
      • ‘It would take waves of immigration and a certain cultural maturity to embed itself before Israeli food would shift to the far more logical cooking of the Sephardi - the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Jews.’
      • ‘That having been said, there are white European Jews, Black Jews (Ethiopians and converts from America and elsewhere), Sephardi Jews from Arab lands and Indian Jews.’
      • ‘It has played on the undoubted discrimination that poor Sephardi Jews of Middle Eastern and North African origin face at the hands of the privileged Labour elite.’

Origin

Modern Hebrew, from sĕp̄āraḏ, a country mentioned in Obad. 20 and taken to be Spain.

Pronunciation

Sephardi

/səˈfärdē//səˈfɑrdi/