Arvoliko, in Flory's words:
"The title of my fourth CD is Arvoliko, the little tree that stood as a silent witness to the horrible end of the Altaras Clan, my Bosnian family, and still today is the only marker of the mass grave where 42 Altaras members were thrown after being massacred during World War II. This cruel scene constantly haunts my soul, and the new songs that I wrote for this CD were etched with pain and melancholy. I have tried to contrast the songs of sad memories with the happier sounds of the talented musicians and singers who have been studying with me. They, along with my family, have joined in my quest to keep the rich and colorful musical traditions of the Sephardim alive and vibrant.
I arrived in America as a war bride in 1946 with a suitcase full of memories... good memories as well as some very ugly ones. So many of us who survived the Holocaust had one thing in common... our silence. However, as we grew older, we began to feel the need to share our pain and also our many happy memories with the world. I poured my memories into songs. At 81 years old I am making Arvoliko, my final recording, completing a series of the four musical stages in my life."
Arvoliko is Disc 4 of Flory's 4 Disc Set.
Born in Sarajevo, Flory spent her childhood summers in the Bosnian village of Vlasenica within the rich Sephardic tradition of her musical Altaras family. Tragically, the Sephardim of Sarajevo and its surrounding communities were nearly obliterated during World War II. During most of the war Flory was interned on the island of Korchula on the Dalmatian Coast. She and her parents finally escaped to Italy where she met and soon married Harry Jagoda, then in the U.S. military. Flory arrived in America as a war bride in 1946.
Ladino is in serious danger of extinction but it is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardic communities, especially in music. As the leader of this revival, Flory has been labeled "The Keeper of the Flame".
In 2002 Flory received a Lifetime Honor by the National Heritage Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts for her efforts in passing on the tradition of Ladino music.