Benardete, Maír José
(909 words)

Maír José Benardete (Mair José Benardete; M. J. Benadete; Meyer Benardete; Mercedes Benardete; 1895–1989), the eldest of nine children, was born in the Ottoman Empire in the city of Çanakkale to a Ladino-speaking family. At the age of eight, he contracted a serious illness that left him unable to walk for months. He spent his year-long convalescence among the Sephardic women of his community, absorbing the Judeo-Spanish folklore and language that would later serve as a focus of his scholarship. After recovering, he enrolled in the Alliance Israélite Universelle school, where he stu…

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Aviva Ben-Ur. "Benardete, Maír José." Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Brill Online, 2015. Reference. 28 November 2015 <>

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