Margalit Matitiahu: Sefarad Ways and Life–Leon Reencounter
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: Where is Agadán and what is its legend?
Margalit Matitiahu is an Israeli poet who writes in Judeo-Spanish and Hebrew. Since 1986 she has served as secretary-general of the Writers’ Union in Israel and has participated in the International Congress of Poets all over the world since 1991. She has published numerous collections of poetry in both Hebrew and Ladino in Israel and Spain, as well as a collection of short stories. She has also translated the work of many contemporary Spanish poets into Hebrew, and won numerous prizes.
In 1997 the city council of León, Spain, dedicated a monolith, inscribed with verses from one of her poems, to the memory of the Jews who lived in León before the Expulsion. In 2003 a public square in the town of Puente Castro, León, was dedicated to her, and she was named “Distinguished Guest” by the mayor of Salamanca in 2014.
In 2004 Matitiahu produced the first in a series of documentary films about cities in Spain that had important Jewish communities before the Expulsion. Her son, Jack Matitiahu, directed and photographed the films, and the first two in the series, about León and Toledo, have been shown in Spain and Israel, as well as in numerous international festivals.
Margalit spoke with us about her own background and work, and also about the first film in the series, Leon Reencounter.