Important People


The production of the Recuerdos Sefaraditas albums are credited to Alberto Roffe Bentolila "ZL"

Part of his legacy is the result of the work on Sephardic culture that he was able to accomplish in Venezuelan soil, where he was welcomed with affection and respect. Also, where he was able to practice the marvelous condition of being both Venezuelan and Jewish, only with the love he had for what was native; what was ours.

In the beginning of the 70s, together with Esther Benchimol, he materializes his project of producing an album of Sephardic music, showing different professionals the Collection of ancient Judeo Spanish music that he had worked on and translated for many years. It was natural for him, he was without surprise with the recognition he received over the beauty and quality of the work he had done. Esther Benchimol de Roffe is immediately appreciated as a great Performer and is known outside the parties and concerts in the Jewish community. Artists and Musicians of the caliber of Freddy Reyna, Alfredo Rugeles, Alberto Grau, Sarino Manno, Isabel Palacios y Soledad Bravo recognize and perform this beautiful music.

Those who knew Alberto Roffe know of his knowledge and anxieties about religion, history, and Jewish poetry in Ladino. He was a great contributor to the Center of Sephardic Studies of Caracas and of the excellent magazine Maguen-Escudo (quarterly magazine published by the Asociacion israelita de Venezuela directed by Dr. Moises Garzon). He always loved and sang flamenco music and was delighted with the sweetness and rhythm of the native pieces of Venezuelan folklore.

Alberto Roffe is very loved for having been a sweet husband, an exemplary father, and an exceptional friend and grandfather. This is one of his best legacies.


Born in Alcazarquivir, Morocco. Her fondness and talent in singing and music took her to show, with her voice, the most profound feeling in the songs in the style of the Jews from Morocco and of other countries. As a very young girl she felt great interest in these songs that she sang alongside her mother, family members, and her loving great aunt Sol Berros.

From 1970 she formally dedicates herself to the dissemination of Sephardic folklore, performing in numerous recitals in many auditoriums in Venezuela and is known internationally as the Pioneer in the popularization of Sephardic music, especially music from Morocco in Latin-America.

Her albums have been sold in many countries. She has lived in Venezuela since 1957, where she successfully carried out all of her artistic life. "My greatest illusion is to leave alive, in hearts and memories, this beautiful Judeo Spanish folklore". Since 2007 she has been an honorary member of the Center of Sephardic Studies of Caracas, Venezuela. She has participated in numerous recitals in Venezuela and in the United States.


He began his musical Studies in 1963 with maestro Domingo Doglio. In 1964 he enrolls in the musical school "JOSE ANGEL LAMAS" graduating as a flute teacher in 1972. He Studies in "Conservatorio para la Formacion de Directores de Orquesta" for many years with professors Gonzalo Castellanos, Eric Colon, Silvia Eisenstein, Modesta Bor and others. In August of 1978 he was invited as a Grant holder to the "Festival de Invierno de Campos de Jordao" in Brazil, performing and practicing chamber music and receiving magisterial classes in flute with French professor Jean Noel Sagard.

He was the arranger of the album "Rosario Marciano presenta: AGUINALDOS VENEZOLANOS". He recorded the sweet flute, transverse flute, and Piccolo parts in the album "Recuerdos Sefaraditas Vol.1", where Esther Benchimol de Roffe sings and musical mending by prof. Alfredo Rugeles. He was the arranger for the albums "Recuerdos Sefarditas Vol.2 y 3". In 1977 he is awarded a prize by the Israeli Association of Venezuela and the Latin American Sephardic Federation (FESELA) in recognition of his distinguished work in the dissemination of Sephardic music. In 1982, along with Esther de Roffe and Alfredo Rugeles (guitarist, Composer, and orchestra director), he forms "The Group for the popularization of Sephardic music", offering recitals in the Union Israelita of Caracas, in the Israeli association of Venezuela, and other cultural centers of Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1982 he was invited by the board of directors of the "Temple of Moses" in Miami to play along in "Concert of Sephardic Songs", concert which Esther de Roffe was invited to sing in due to the inauguration of the temple. In 1985 he participated, along with Esther de Roffe and Alfredo Rugeles, in the "Tribute to the 850 years of the Barth of Maimonides" that was organized by the executives of FESELA, offering a "Concert of Sephardic Music" in the Temple of Moses in Miami.

Currently he is:

The principal flute in the "Orquesta Tipica Nacional", active since 1974. In 1980 he participates in the "Latin-American Tour", with the mentioned orchestra, going to Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico.

Executive member of flute and Piccolo in the "Municipal orchestra of Caracas", active in it since 1981.

Director and flute placer in "Agrupacion Saman".

Flute and musical calligraphy teacher in the "Jose Angel Lamas" music school from 1977 until 2005.


In year 2007, Venezuelan Maestro Alfredo Rugeles celebrates his 25 years of artistic career.

In year 2007, Venezuelan Maestro Alfredo Rugeles celebrates his 25 years of artistic career. Also an outstanding composer, his catalogue includes chamber, symphonic and choral music, and electro-acoustic works that have been performed in many countries and have led him to obtain several awards and prizes, among them, the National Composition Award (1979) for his piece "Somosnueve", and the Caracas Municipality Composition Prize (1985) for his composition "Tanguitis". He is a founding member of the Venezuelan Society for Contemporary Music (SVMC), Numerus Clausus founding member of the Latin American Art Music Composers College, having been also Member to the Executive Committee of the International Contemporary Music Society. Since 1991, he is the Latin American Music Festival's artistic director. His varied and brilliant projection as an orchestra conductor makes him a frequent invited conductor to all of Caracas' orchestras and of other orchestras in countries worldwide conducting with great success, so much the traditional symphonic and operatic repertoire, as well as master pieces from the XX and XXI centuries, and also accompanying countless renowned international soloists. Since 1991, he is the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra's artistic director, and for five years (1982-1987) was artistic director and associated conductor of the Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra as well as the Teresa Carreño Theater Music Director (1997-2000). He was a founding member and music director of the Nova Música Ensemble and Director to the Venezuelan Chamber Music Foundation. In 1999, he receives the National Artist Award as symphony orchestra's conductor. He has spent 20 of these years of artistic career in front of the Orchestra Conducting Professorship at the Music Studies University Institution (IUDEM), and since 2001, is a teacher of Orchestra Conducting to the Simón Bolivar University's Music Master Degree.

Rugeles has a complete and varied music training that includes diplomas in Singing (Fedora Alemán) and Choir Conducting (Alberto Grau) obtained from the "Juan Manuel Olivares" School of Music in Caracas. In this city, he carried out composition studies with Yannis Ioannidis and years later, at the Robert Schumann Music Institute in Düsseldorf, Germany, he obtained diplomas in both, Composition (1979) and Orchestra Conducting (1981) with Professors Günther Becker and Wolfgang Trommer, respectively

He has taken part in International Orchestra Conducting Courses given by Sergiu Celibidache, Michel Tabachnik and Franco Ferrara. Venezuelan Maestro Alfredo Rugeles composed and directed the music from the first "Recuerdos Sefarditas" (Sephardic Memories) record and he participated in the musical production of several songs from the other records.

He is the founder and he is also part of the musical team of Sephardic Memories from its beginnings in the 1970´s .


Sephardic Jews (Sephardic meaning the Spanish in Hebrew) are the decedents of those Jews that were exiled from Spain in 1492 during the Spanish inquisition.

The Sephardic Spreads along many countries...

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After his arrival in Venezuela (1955) from Morocco, Alberto wishes to formally compile all of the songs that his wife, Esther Benchimol de Roffe sung, and that they both knew from their childhood. Romantic songs, prayers, and Holiday poems that are part of the history of the Jews that were exiled from Spain in 1492.

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El Centro de Estudios Sefardíes de Caracas (CESC) es una institución cultural adscrita a la Asociación Israelita de Venezuela (AIV)

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