Since its establishment in 1983, the mission of the Salti Foundation has been based on the vision of its founder Dr. Yehoshua Selim Salti; which is to sustain, strengthen and safeguard the preservation the Judeo Spanish language (Ladino) culture, and heritage and to nurture the leaders of tomorrow.
The Foundation aims to offer a better future to young people in Israel, providing them with financial assistance during their studies in institutions of higher education in order to inspire them to reach higher educational and achievement levels.
The Foundation supports the Salti Institute for Ladino Studies in Bar Ilan University, initially founded as a center in 2003. The Institute is a special dynamic hub of Ladino language and culture related academic studies as well as local and international activities.
The Salti Institute enables local and international academicians, researchers and students to pursue in depth academic research on Ladino while ensuring the interested community at large, the possibility of engaging with Ladino through various outreach programs.
The Board members of the Salti Foundation
Mr. Hayim Salti
Mr. Moni Salti
Adv. Nir Bar
Prof. Shmuel Refael
Adv. Shlomit Ehrlich
Mr. Eytan Filiba
Ms Meirav Koren Beeri
Yosi Ben Altabet
Adv. Ehud Asa
On Allied Victory Day in World War II on May 8, 1945: "I clearly remember my father's joy upon hearing the announcement of victory. He was very excited about the safe future of the large Jewish community of Turkey; approximately eighty thousand people who had evaded the horrors of the Nazis. At the same time, he mourned the loss of most of the Balkan Jewry and the Ladino-speaking Jews who perished in the concentration camps. He wondered if the Ladino language would ever be heard again in the Balkan countries. So, when I grew up, I decided to do everything I could so that Ladino would continue to exist."
The Salti Institute
Preservation of Ladino and Sephardic Culture
The Naime and Yehoshua Salti Center for Ladino Studies for the preservation of Ladino and Sephardic Culture has been established within the Bar Ilan University (BIU) in 2003. With further flourishing activities and research the Center has progressed into an institute over the years. The Salti Institute for Ladino Studies is now an internationally recognized and respected hub of Ladino knowledge established within the Faculty of Jewish Studies of Bar Ilan University.
The Institute Director at present is Dr. Dov Hacohen. The founding Director Prof. Shmuel Refael, a former Salti fellow, for 20 years is presently the Dean of the Jewish Studies Faculty.
With MA, and PhD studies as well as hosting post-doc researchers, organizing conferences and collaborations with European and American universities, and a modern research library, the Salti Institute has put Ladino on the academic map.
The Institute serves as a center for meetings for Israeli and International researchers, and is home to a new generation of young researchers who want to make their own contribution to the study of Ladino and its culture. Most importantly; its outreach activities, ongoing parallel non-academic courses and the increasing numbers of researchers’ and academicians’ works have heightened public awareness of Ladino.