Jem and Eli Orgun

These are my son Orhan's boys, Jem and Eli. The photo was taken in Davis, USA, in 2006. In 1988, my son Orhan graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Bogazici University and went to the University of California at Berkeley for his master's degree. When he was about to start on his doctorate, he changed subjects and studied Linguistics instead. In 1993, he married Sharon Inkelas, a linguist like himself, and they had two sons, Jem in 1995, and Eli in 1998. Unfortunately they were divorced, though amicably, in 2006. The boys live with their mother, but my son takes them a couple of days a week, when they spend some time together. Jem and Eli, our American grandchildren, go to an elementary school which teaches half day in English and half day in Spanish. In 2002, I saw an ad of the Cervantes Institute about a course of Modern Spanish for Sephardi, and I immediately enrolled in it. Thanks to that decision, I can now speak Spanish with my grandchildren. That course had another interesting outcome: It helped me remember the Ladino language I had heard and understood, but never spoke as a child.

Photos from this interviewee