Karen (Gerson) Şarhon

Karen Gerson Sarhon belongs to the last generation of Ladino/Judeo-Spanish speakers in the world. An active member of the Turkish Sephardic community, she is the coordinator of the Sephardic Center in Istanbul, which she founded in December 2003 and has been running ever since. She specializes in Linguistics and Social Psychology, speaks five languages very well and understands a couple more, taught English and wrote English Proficiency Tests for Bogazici University for 20 years, and has been awarded the medal of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Ministry of Culture of France for her work in preserving the language and culture of Sephardic Jews. Karen is also the founder and singer of the group Los Pasharos Sefaradis, a group renowned for their authentic rendering of Sephardic songs. Very much interested in Sephardic cuisine, Karen has also actively taken part in TV programs and documentaries and has lectured on the cuisine.