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Makom Sefarad´s Executive Director is Haim Casas .After graduating from the Law School of the University of Seville (Spain), he committed himself to the recovering of Jewish Spain. He started in 2005 with a Spanish couple, who shared the passion for Sephardic Judaism, Casa de Sefarad, the Jewish museum of Cordoba (Spain). Meanwhile, along with other Jewish leaders, he started Beit Rambam, the first progressive congregation in South of Spain. In 2010, he opened Casa Mazal, a Cultural Café devoted to Sephardic gastronomy.
On 2012 he started his Rabbinic training at Leo Baeck College in London. He was ordained on 2017. He cooperates with some Jewish communities and cultural organizations in the UK, France, Switzerland, Spain and Morocco.
His dream is to promote spaces in Spain and Morocco where to encounter an inclusive and diverse experience of Judaism. Part of this dream is also to preserve and promote Spanish Jewish heritage.
Maryla Vazquez is a graduate in Modern Languages and Literatures with special mention in Semitic Studies at the University of Granada. She attended part of her Israel studies at Haifa University, Ben-Gurion University, and Tel-Aviv University. She is an expert on Hebrew language and Sephardic legacy.
After a long stay in Israel, she returned to her home city: Granada, where she has been dedicated to the tourism sector since 2018. In 2019 she founded Tour Sefarad, a project aimed at Sephardic tourism in Andalusia.
She is passionate about the preservation of Sephardic culture and legacy.
She currently works as an official guide in the city of Granada at the same time she is studying a Master in Arab and Hebrew Culture in Al-Andalus at the University of Granada.
Dr. Angy Cohen is the inaugural Belzberg Postdoctoral Associate in Israel Studies at University of Calgary. She is a cultural researcher focused on the study of personal narratives and identity construction among Jews from Arab and Muslim countries in Israel. Her approach to ethnographic work weaves together the fields of cultural psychology, narrative psychology, sociology, and anthropology. She is a member of the Sephardi/Mizrahi feminist Beit Midrash “Arevot”; in Jerusalem, where she coordinates the Morot Tzedek/Teachers of Justice halachic program, taught by Rabbi Haim Ovadia.
Dr Cohen received her PhD in 2017 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, in a Joint PhD program. Her doctoral dissertation was a comparative ethnographic study of life stories among Spanish-Moroccan Jews that emigrated to Israel and Argentina. She received the Rothschild (Hanadiv) Europe doctoral fellowship in Jewish Studies and was awarded the Gaon Prize for projects
on Judeo-Spanish culture and history by the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. She has held postdoctoral positions at the School of Cultural Studies of Tel Aviv University and the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies at Concordia University. She is currently working on the manuscript of a book about personal narratives of Spanish-Moroccan Jews in Israel and Argentina, to be published by McGill Queens University Press.
Charles A. McDonald is the academic adviser and director of international operations for Makom Sefarad. He received his PhD in anthropology and history from the New School for Social Research in 2019. He is currently writing his first book, “Return to Sepharad: Conversion, Citizenship, and the Politics of Repair”.
Charles is the Scholar-in-Residence at the King Juan Carlos I Center at New York University. His research has been supported by the Posen Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Center for Jewish History, and the American Academy for Jewish Research.
In Spain, he has held visiting research positions at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In addition to his academic training, Charles has extensive professional experience in the fields of international education, non-profit management, and fundraising and development.