Intensive Ladino program


  • Learn to read diverse Ladino texts in Rashi and Latin alphabets and in Soletreo script.
  • Practice your Ladino in conversation and listening comprehension classes.
  • Meet in person and document Ladino speakers in Israel.
  • Visit the rich Ladino collections in Jerusalem.
  • Take cultural tours of Sephardic Jerusalem.

Ladino (Judeo-Spanish, Judezmo or Spanyolit) is the traditional language of Sephardic Jews. Today it is an endangered language spoken mainly in Israel and Turkey. The intensive three-week summer program of the Ladino International Summer School is intended to introduce students to the Ladino language and the rich culture created by its speakers throughout the centuries.

The program consists of three primary components. In the morning, we offer Ladino language classes divided into two parallel levels: Elementary Ladino and Advanced Ladino (designed for intermediate/advanced students). Both levels will participate in the “Readings in Ladino Printed Texts and Soletreo” course, which focuses on the cursive Sephardic script.

The rich afternoon program features a seminar for both levels, covering topics in Sephardic Culture and Research tools. This seminar includes guest lectures from prominent researchers in Ladino and Sephardic Studies. Students will participate in Sephardic-oriented cultural tours and visits to libraries and archives in Jerusalem holding rich Ladino collections. Participants will acquire hands-on experience documenting Ladino heritage speakers in Israel.

Elementary Ladino:

In this course, you will learn the foundational skills to understand and communicate in Ladino, both in writing and speaking. We’ll start by teaching you the Ladino writing systems, including Rashi and Latin alphabets, and you’ll get to practice basic self-introductions in Ladino. As you progress through the course, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of Ladino grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary. Both beginners and those at an advanced level will have opportunities to practice speaking and listening comprehension together

Advanced Ladino:

In this advanced Ladino course, you will further enhance your Ladino language skills. Through a variety of readings and activities, you will gain the ability to read Ladino texts at an intermediate to advanced level, covering different literary styles and regional dialects of the modern language. Both beginners and advanced learners will have opportunities for conversation practice and improving listening comprehension. This course is designed for students who already have some prior background with Ladino.

The following courses are for students of both levels.

Readings in Ladino Printed Texts and Soletreo Manuscripts 

In this course, we will begin by introducing the Soletreo script, which is a Sephardic cursive script. The primary focus will be on reading progressively more complex Ladino printed texts written in Square Hebrew and Rashi letters, as well as manuscripts in the Soletreo cursive script. These texts span various periods in the history of the Ladino language. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to suggest texts related to their own research interests, which will be considered for inclusion in the course.

Sephardic Culture and Research Tools

This course combines lectures and a research forum to explore various aspects of Ladino language, Sephardic history, and culture. Students will gain insights into the tools and methodologies required for working with Ladino archival materials and conducting fieldwork to document the language and culture of Ladino speakers. As part of the course, students will engage in Sephardic-focused cultural tours and visit libraries and archives in Jerusalem that house extensive Ladino collections. This hands-on experience will enable participants to document the heritage of Ladino speakers in Israel.


This is an intensive three-week program. The classes will take place Sunday through Thursday, for six hours per day. Days with cultural events, visits and special activities will have an extended schedule in the afternoon/evening.

Course Components

  • Class readings and discussions.
  • Daily homework.
  • Quizzes, midterm assignments, and a final assignment.
  • Site visits and field trips
  • Cultural events.
  • Field work with Ladino speakers.

View the syllabi: Elementary Ladino; Advanced Ladino

Apply by: May 1, 2024 (Late applications will be reviewed according availability)
Arrive on Campus: July 28, 2024
Program length: 2 and a half weeks

Application fee: US $120
Course Tuition: US $2275
Housing: US$ 480*

*Subject to availability. 


A limited number of partial subsidies and scholarships based on demonstrated need or merit may be available. Please contact Dr. Ilil Baum to learn about other funding sources that may be available.

Also learn more about our scholarships and financial aid

Undergraduate and graduate students or mature learners with an academic background and English proficiency.

Background in Ladino:

– No Ladino background is needed for the Elementary level.

– You must have prior Ladino studies to enroll in the Advanced level. Your registration for the Advanced Level will be confirmed only after we verify that your Ladino proficiency is sufficient.


  1.  In addition to the standard registration documents, students are required to complete an additional form where they specify their research interests and provide details about their background in Ladino and Sephardic studies.
  2. Course level registration will be finalized following a collaborative review with the program coordinator, Dr. Ilil Baum.
  3. The program has a limited number of spots available. In case of over-registration, applicants will be placed on a waiting list, wherein current university students, will be given a priority.
  4. The Division of Summer Courses and Special Programs reserves the right to cancel a level if there are an insufficient number of applicants for that particular level.

We’re pleased you’re applying to join us in Jerusalem! To apply for the Intensive Ladino program, please select “Special Programs” and the academic year “2024-2025” on the online application.

Please see here for more information about visas


We’re happy to answer any questions you might have – or to chat for a bit to help you choose the right course or program.

For questions about the curriculum
Email Dr. Ilil Baum ; Prof. David Bunis    

For questions about admission or other administrative matters

Email Us
Call us: +972 2 588 2602

Find More Summer Courses

Please note that HebrewU reserves the right to cancel courses for which there is insufficient registration.

Fast Facts


Intensive Ladino program

Teaching Faculty:

Dr. Ilil Baum ; Prof. David Bunis  

Language of Instruction:



Academic hours: 90
Credits: 6

Program Dates:

July 28 – August 12, 2024


Undergraduate and graduate students or mature learners with an academic background and English proficiency.

Prior background in Ladino is required for the Advanced Ladino level.

Please note that a limited number of spots is available.

Application Deadline:

May 1, 2024


Application fee: US$ 120
Course Tuition: $2275
Housing: US$ 480 *
* Depending on availability

Take a look at our pages for prospects, students, faculty and staff, alumni, and parents – or contact us!

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