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Sephardi are Jewish originating in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). Sephardi were subject to expulsion from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497 and spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe, Mexico, US and South America.

Sepharad means "Spain" in modern Hebrew. In religion, the Sephardic style of liturgy is different to the Ashkenazim's one (Jews of the German rite).

Origin and History

The 1492 A.D. exile from Spain, where the Jews had previously settled in the time of the Moors and some attaining to high positions and appointments as physicians, prime ministers, and poets under the Islamic conquest. This was the Golden Age of Jewry in Spain. At their expulsion ("gerush") from Spain they settled mainly around the Mediterranean basin - North Africa, Greece, Turkey, and also many going to Holland and from there to the American Colonies. The first synagogue in America was created due to this dispersion. These Jews soon were speaking the language of the their host countries - Arabic, Turkish etc. but also speaking the language of Old Spain. "Spain" in Hebrew is Sefarad, so the language is Sephardic and the dispersion is of the Sephardim (sometimes spelled Sepharadim).

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