Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Bouena Sarfatty Garfinkle repertoire

Recorded Sound | RG Number: RG-91.0184

Complex repertoire of Bouena Sarfatty Garfinkle (BSG) (November 16, 1916 to July 23, 1997), a Sephardic woman from Salonika who lived in Montreal for several decades. Includes taped interviews with BSG during the early1980s in Montreal. Bouena’s repertoire from the 1940s until her death includes four categories of contents:
1 - songs: rather than the long narrative ballads (romances) based on historical Spanish ballads favored by Moroccan Sephardic women, BSG sang mostly songs that were popular in Salonika in her youth, giving a fascinating picture of daily life. These include extracts from operettas popular among Sephardim in the former Ottoman lands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as well as recreational and topical songs, and a few life and calendar-cycle songs as well as ballad fragments.
2 - stories and explanations: these include everything from preparations for a wedding to moving anecdotes related to the Holocaust.
3 - proverbs: a wealth of traditional proverbs, some found only among Sephardim and others also found in Spanish or other folklore.
4 -“komplas”: a genre of improvised or composed toasts. BSG's repertoire includes everything from amusing characters in daily life to incisive comments on the Holocaust framed as ironic toasts. The term “komplas” usually refers to a song genre rather than to this component of the repertoire.

Consists of 30 Tracks:

Category 1: songs
(1) 1-1 Nada
(2)1-2 Paro+Hitler
(3) 1-3 PurimOp
(4) 1-8 EvreuPoula+trans
(5) 1-13a IntroSiVes
(6) 1-13b SiVes
(7) 1-15a SexAppIntro
(8) 1-15b Sex Appeal
(9) 1-21 Hanumelek
(10) 1-23 Carcelero
(11) 1-30 BoatFragment
(12) 1-34 SeVistioLaReinaE
(13) 1-35 EsterOperetta
(14) 1-36 Deplorable-etc+commentOperetta
(15) 1-39 YaSalio-every1 was nude
(16) 1-40b NuestraTierra

Category 2: stories and explanations
(17) 2a4.Haim.Carselero i piadoso
(18) 2-10 ReinaBrodava+talk
(19) 2-22 MuestraTierra
(20) 2-25 MiPiEl
(21) 2-28 AdioRashelLevy
(22) 2-33 Pesakh1-KadUrha

Category 3: proverbs
(23) 3-5 SacrificioIsaac
(24) 3-9 YaVieneParido
(25) 3-33 Morena
(26) 3-38 Cabessa Dura

Category 4: komplas
(27) 4-1 Mariana
(28) 4-4 EnIstanbulHavia+talk
(29) 4-12 Eskola de l'Aliansa
(30) 4-22 DiavlaCharleston

Recorded:  1980-1997
Oral histories.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Judith R. Cohen
Record last modified: 2021-07-13 13:08:09
This page: