By Madelyne Heyman

Sephardic Jews are those who descend from diaspora populations of the Iberian Peninsula. Additionally, some Mizrahi Jews – i.e., Jews from Western Asia and North Africa – also identify as Sephardic. While Sephardic Jews historically spoke Ladino many other Jewishly-inflected dialects and languages were commonly spoken depending on the region. Sephardim were the first Jews to immigrate to the U.S. and remained the majority of the Jewish population until the 19th century.