(May 26, 2021, JNS Wire) The American Sephardi Federation congratulates the 24 Broome & Allen Fellowship & Scholarship Recipients for 2021! Dedicated to recognizing impressive academic accomplishments and service on behalf of the Greater Sephardic community, the ASF’s Broome & Allen Endowment also encourages excellence in the field of Sephardi Studies.
This year’s recipients are engaged in undergraduate and graduate study at the world’s top universities, including Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Glasgow, Harvard, Martin Luther, Mohammed V, NYU, Sciences Po Bordeaux, Sorbonne, Stanford, and the Technion. The 18 Fellowships are being awarded to graduate students in the following categories: Educators, Social Entrepreneurs, & Community Builders; Film & Music; Medicine; and Scholars.
ASF Broome & Allen Fellows and Scholarship Recipients represent and reflect the rich diversity of the Greater Sephardi world in their family backgrounds as well as research interests. Amongst the recipients are students from Germany, Israel, Morocco, Panama, Spain, and Venezuela.
Starting in the fall semester, Fellows will be able to utilize the ASF’s Sephardi Scholars Center at The Center for Jewish History as a hub for research and place for them to conduct seminars, classes, lectures, and discussions. Fellows are also eligible for additional research, conference, teaching, and publication grants, as well as to have their work featured in the ASF’s Sephardi World Weekly, Sephardi Ideas Monthly, and The Sephardi Report.
David E.R. Dangoor, President of the American Sephardi Federation, says:
“These young students represent an important ingredient securing ASF’s mission to preserve and promote the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities. So we greatly appreciate them and their Sephardic Jewish values being present at these excellent educational institutions.”
ASF Broome & Allen Scholarship Recipients are innovators taking initiative, connecting Jewish pasts and presents. They include one student who was a Bronfman Fellow and speaker at the ASF’s third New York Ladino Day in 2020; a senior studying the History of Architecture and Urban Development at Cornell University while pioneering the new Jewish activism, including by co-founding Jewish on Campus (another recipient, a University of Chicago undergrad, is the CEO of Jewish on Campus); and the winner of the prestigious In Vitro Biology Award and first place at the New Jersey FFA State Agriscience Fair. Four recipients—Isaac de Castro, Julia Jassey, Andrew Marcus, and Benjamin Zatz—are ASF Young Leaders.
Daniel Stauber, who is valedictorian of the Buckley School’s Class of 2021 and will be attending Stanford University in the fall, sees the ASF Broome & Allen Scholarship as an opportunity to continue his family’s tradition of American Sephardi leadership:
“I aspire to be like my great-great-grandmother one day, making an impact on the world around me, both locally and globally.” Stauber’s “great-great-grandmother, Leah Cohen (Mrs. Marco Cohen), helped found the Sephardic Home for the Aged” formerly in Brooklyn, and her son, his “great-grandfather Moses M. Cohen… was an original founder, attorney, and president of the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America. He was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1904 and emigrated with his family in 1912 to avoid the persecution of the Sephardic Jews in Turkey.”
The archives of both the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America and Sephardic Home for the Aged are integral parts of the ASF’s National Sephardic Library & Archives.
Another recipient continuing a family tradition is Isabella Rose Soffer, an accomplished Duke University Economics major, who is the granddaughter of former ASF Vice President Clement Soffer.
ASF’s Broome & Allen Fellows include a scholar of Judeo-Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, Hebrew, and Ladino who is the sole recipient of the NYU Torch International Research Fellowship for 2020-2021; a narrative researcher at Columbia explicating the lives (including love letters) of her grandparents in mid-20th century Morocco; a former Fulbright scholar who studied Yemeni Jewish narrative construction in Israel and British colonial complicity in anti-Jewish violence in ‘Aden, Tripolitania, and Mandate Palestine, whose articles have been featured in the New York Times, The Hill, Haaretz, and Tablet Magazine; the CEO of Ladino 21, an online initiative to preserve Judeo-Spanish for the 21st century; a Moroccan scholar in Germany researching children’s stories in Judeo-Maghrebi literature; the creator of a unique Heritage Program that has recorded over 400 oral history interviews with recent Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Panama, and Syria; the Sephardi-Israeli Duke University grad student who is already managing tours and productions for American bands, such as Tame Impala; a medical ethicist, with a dual appointment to Bar-Ilan University and the Technion, who is researching the application of Maimonidean principles to contemporary medical practice; and the ASF Ronit Elkabatz A”H “Rising Star” Pomegranate Award and NYU Fusion Film Festival’s Grand Prize-winning Yemenite- & Spaniolit-Israeli filmmaker—a recipient of the NYU Tisch Dean’s Fellowship, ISEF Nina Weiner & Lily Safra International Fellowship, and NYU Provost Writing Fellowship in London—whose films have premièred at the Montreal World Festival and Venice International Film Festival.
ASF Broome & Allen Fellow Andrew Marcus, founder of the Greek Jewish Festival and the brother of a past Broome & Allen Scholarship Recipient, said he is:
“Grateful for all that ASF does to perpetuate our beautiful heritage and support the next generation of our community.”
The Broome & Allen Fund was founded over 70 years ago by a group of Sephardic businessmen determined to provide a vacation for hundreds of children who otherwise would not be able to escape the hot and humid summers of New York City. As the need for this service waned, the Fund began to offer scholarships. Since the year 2004, over one hundred grants have been awarded.
Murray Farash, the last of the original Broome & Allen Fund Board Members and a distinguished ASF Board Member, says:
“These exceptional young people represent the best of our Sephardic community and we are glad to encourage and nurture their development.”
ASF’s Executive Director Jason Guberman added:
“This class of brilliant scholars and promising students are a credit to Murray’s dedication and determination to perpetuate the Broome & Allen legacy.”