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Syrian Jewish communities of the United States

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The Syrian Jewish Communities of the United States are a collection of communities of Syrian Jews, mostly founded at the beginning of the 20th century. The largest are in Brooklyn, Deal, New Jersey and Miami. The population of the New York and New Jersey communities is currently estimated at about 90,000.

New York

The first Syrian Jews to arrive in the United States were Jacob Dwek and Ezra Sitt, both of Aleppo. They sailed from Liverpool, England on July 22, 1892 on the Germania. After the start of the 20th century, more immigrants came to the U.S. for three reasons: First, an economic decline in Syria crippled their ability to earn a living. Second, the Young Turks, a rebel group responsible for the overthrow of the Ottoman sultan, were conscripting Jews into the Army. Third, the rise of Zionism led to increased anti-Semitism in the Middle Eastern region. Most settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Later settlements were in Bensonhurst, Midwood, Flatbush, and along Ocean Parkway in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The latter is considered to be the current center of the community, though the community was formerly centered around the Magen David Synagogue on 67th street in the Bensonhurst neighborhood as listed below:
  • Congregation Shaare Zion, at 2030 Ocean Parkway between Avenue T and Avenue U, housing several synagogues in a single building along with a separate house as an additional annex structure. It is the largest, and is now considered the flagship synagogue of the community. The synagogue was constructed in 1960 in the Gravesend neighborhood, and the community soon followed it there throughout the rest of the 1960s and early 1970s. Until his passing on December 1, 2018, the synagogue held the seat of Chief Rabbi Saul J. Kassin II. The Rabbi's father Rabbi Jacob S. Kassin I, along with the Rabbi's brother-in-law Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim; were the previous spiritual leaders of the Syrian community in New York respectively, until their passings in 1994 and 2005. In his will, Chief Rabbi Saul J. Kassin II passed down his seat as the Chief Rabbi to his firstborn grandson, Rabbi Saul J. Kassin III (his own firstborn son, Jacob S. Kassin II, is not a rabbi). The current Chief Rabbi Saul J. Kassin III is the head rabbi of Congregation Magen David of West Deal and rosh yeshivah of Hillel Yeshiva. Another important rabbinic figure for a number of years was Rabbi Abraham Hecht. But due to conflicting political interests during the 1990s, the Rabbi was forced into submitting his resignation. Sharing in rabbinical duties are Rabbi Yaakov Ben Haim (son of Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim), Rabbi David Maslaton, Rabbi Meyer Yedid, Rabbi Raymond Haber, Rabbi Moshe Lagnado, Rabbi Moshe Arking, and Rabbi Raymond Beyda. The synagogue generally serves the Aleppo or (Halabi) Syrian community.
  • Congregation Magen David Synagogue, at 2017 67th Street between 20th and 21st Avenues. This synagogue was the former flagship of the community, and was erected in 1921. The synagogue was at its height of popularity during the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. The synagogue is still in continual use for daily and Shabbat prayers. It is also very notable with the community at present for holding funeral services. In 2001, the building was declared a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. By 2004, the building was certified and listed with the National Register of Historic Places. Rabbi Salomon Lankry is the current rabbi presiding over the congregation.
, 2020
In addition to Syrian Jews proper, the community includes smaller groups of Israeli, Lebanese, Egyptian, Turkish, Moroccan and other similar origins, who have their own place within the overall "Syrian" communal structure. A distinction is also recognized between Halabis (from Aleppo) and Shamis (from Damascus). Furthermore, there is a perceived difference between the Modern Orthodox "White Hats" and those tending to Haredi Judaism "Black Hats", though this is a matter of degree rather than an absolute division. There are no Conservative or Reform congregations affiliated with the Syrian community.
Within the community, there is also a Sephardic Community Center fulfilling functions similar to the national JCC organization. The community is characterized by multi-generational businesses; often, children are encouraged to stay within the family business. Still, many families, recognizing the challenges to financial success posed by a lack of a university degree, have been encouraging undergraduate and graduate education, especially in the fields of business and finance. Those who pursue higher education are encouraged to remain within the familial structure. A number of magazine publications, such as Image and Community Magazine, also cover social topics in relation to the community as a whole.

Synagogues

Presently, there is an array of different synagogues that cater to the community's many different backgrounds, customs and liturgical styles. They are as follows:
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! State
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! Clergy
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! class="unsortable"Address, Website
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Ahaba Ve Ahva
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Shimon Alouf
Egyptian
1744 Ocean Parkway, Ahaba.org
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Ahaba Ve Ahva Congregation & Yeshiva
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Egyptian
2001 East 7th Street
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Ahi Ezer Congregation
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Shaul Maslaton
Syrian - Shami
1885 Ocean Parkway
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Ahi Ezer Torah Center
New York
Brooklyn
Syrian - Shami
1950 East 7th Street
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Ahi Ezer Yeshiva Synagogue
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Hanania Elbaz
Egyptian
2433 Ocean Parkway, Ahiezeryeshiva.org
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Aur Torah
New York
Staten Island
Rabbi Aharon Zeev
Syrian
1180 Rockland Avenue, Aurtorah.org
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Avenue N Sephardic Congregation
New York
Brooklyn
Syrian
321 Avenue N
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Avenue O Synagogue, Ohel Yeshua VeSarah
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Shemuel Beyda
Syrian
808 Avenue O
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Ateret Torah
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yosef Harari Raful
Sephardic Haredim
901 Quentin Road
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Bet Shaul U'Miriam
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi David Cohen
Syrian
2208 Avenue S
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Congregation Beth-El of Flatbush
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Ani
Syrian - Shami
2181 East 3rd Street
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Congregation Beth Torah
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yehuda A. Azancot
Syrian
1061 Ocean Parkway, Beth-Torah.com
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Beth Yosef
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Aharon Farhi
Syrian
2108 Ocean Parkway, BethYosef.com
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B'nai Yosef Synagogue
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Haim Benoliel
Syrian, Sephardic Haredim
1616 Ocean Parkway, BnaiYosef.com
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Bnei Binyamin Torah Center
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi David Seruya
Sephardic Haredim
727 Avenue O
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Congregation Bnei Ovadia
New York
Brooklyn
Syrian
1922 East 8th Street
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Bnei Shelomo V'Yaffa
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Eliezer Zeytouneh
Syrian - Shami
1305 Gravesend Neck Road
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Bnei Yehuda Congregation
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yohai Cohen
Syrian - Qamishli
2296 Coney Island Avenue
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Congregation Bnei Yitzhak
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Joseph Beyda
Syrian
730 Avenue S, Bneiyitzhakweb.org
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The Edmond J Safra Synagogue
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Eli Mansour
Syrian
1801 Ocean Parkway, ejss.org
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Congregation Beit Edmond
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New York
Manhattan
Rabbi Shlomo Farhi
Syrian
11 East 63rd Street, ejsny.org
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Emek Hatorah Congregation
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Syrian, Sephardic Haredim
1781 Ocean Parkway, EmekHatorah.com
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Congregation Har HaLebanon
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi David Jemal, Rabbi Clem Harari
Lebanese/Shami
820 Avenue S
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Hayim Shaal Congregation
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Mordechai Maslaton
Syrian
1123 Avenue N
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Congregation Hochma U'Mussar
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Harold Sutton
Syrian
718 Avenue S, Hochmaumussar.org
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Kehilat Bnei Yaakov
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yaakov Farhi
Syrian
630 Avenue S
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Kehilat Derech Yeshara
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Avraham Benhamu
Syrian
1849 E19TH ST, https://www.derechyeshara.com/
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Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Sephardic Minyan
New York
Manhattan
Rabbi Meyer Laniado
Syrian
125 East 85th Street, ckj.org/sephardicdailyservices
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Keter Sion Torah Center
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Max Maslaton
Sephardic Haredim
1914 East 8th Street, Ketersion.com
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Keter Torah Congregation
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Abraham Harari Raful
Sephardic Haredim
2220 Avenue L
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Kol Israel Congregation
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Tawil, Rabbi Shweky, Rabbi Zanulani
Syrian
3211 Bedford Avenue, Kolisrael.org
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Congregation Kol Yaakov
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Mansour
Lebanese
1703 McDonald Avenue
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Kollel Ohel Moshe
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Shlomo Lankry
Moroccan
1848 East 7th Street
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Madison Torah Center
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Danny Tawil
Syrian
2221 Avenue R
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Magen Abraham
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Duvi Ben Soussan
Syrian - Shami
2066 East 9th Street, mabshul.com
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Magen David Synagogue of Manhattan
New York
Manhattan
Rabbi Maimon Maman
Syrian
177 Sullivan Street, MagenDavidNY.org
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Magen David of Scarsdale
New York
Scarsdale
Syrian
1225 Weaver Street, MagenDavidScarsdale.org
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Magen David Synagogue of Staten Island
New York
Staten Island
Syrian
192 Braisted Avenue
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Magen David Synagogue
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Haim Shaul, Rabbi Joey Haber
Syrian
2130 McDonald Avenue, Magendavidsynagogue.org
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Manhattan East Synagogue
New York
Manhattan
Rabbi Elie Abadie
Syrian
1231 3rd Avenue, Mesny.org
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Manhattan Sephardic Congregation
New York
Manhattan
Rabbi Raphael Benchimol
325 East 75th Street, Sepharad.org
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Midrash Moshe ben Maimon Congregation
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yair Alfieh
Syrian - Shami
59 Gravesend Neck Road
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Mill Basin Sephardic Congregation
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yirmi Levy
Syrian
2133 East 64th Street, MillBasinsc.com
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Mishkan Yerushalaim
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yehoshua Alfieh
Syrian - Shami
520 Avenue X
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Mikdash Eliyahu Synagogue
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Avi Harari, Rabbi Nissim
Syrian
2145 East 2nd Street, Mikdasheliyahu.org
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Mikdash Melech
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Chaim Benoliel, Rabbi Beyda
Syrian
1326 Ocean Parkway
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The Ohel Moshe Synagogue Synagogue
New York
Manhattan
Syrian
130 East 82nd Street, MoiseSafraCenter.org/the-Ohel-Moshe-Synagogue
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Netivot Israel Congregation
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Gad Bouskila
Moroccan
1617 Ocean Parkway
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Ohel David & Shlomo - Torath Israel Sephardic Congregation
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yosef Bittón
Syrian
710 Shore Boulevard, Ohelds.com
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Congregation Ohr Eliyahu
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi David Khasky
Syrian
702 Avenue O
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Congregation Ohel Moshe
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Moshe Levy
Syrian
1601 Avenue P
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Persian Congregation of Flatbush
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Shmuel Soleimani
Persian
1434 Ocean Parkway
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Sephardic Congregation of the Five Towns
New York
Cedarhurst
Rabbi Mordechai Ben-Haim
Syrian
539 Oakland Avenue, ShaareEmunah.org
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Sephardic Lebanese Congregation
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Eliyahu Elbaz
Rabbi Abraham Hayoun
Lebanese/Shami
805 Avenue T, Slcshul.com
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Sephardic Institute Synagogue
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Moshe Shamah, Rabbi Ronald Barry
Syrian
511 Avenue R, Judaic.org
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Sephardic Torah Center of Marine Park
New York
Brooklyn
Syrian
3602 Quentin Road
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Congregation Shaare Rahamim
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Shlomo Churba
Syrian
1244 East 7th Street
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Shaare Zion of Great Neck
New York
Great Neck
Persian
25 Devon Road
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Congregation Shaare Shalom
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Syrian, Egyptian
2021 Avenue S, Shaareshalom.com
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Shevet Achim Congregation
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yosheyahu Shammah, Rabbi Yosef Hamra
Syrian - Shami
708 Avenue T
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Shevet Achim Youth Congregation
160x160pxcenter
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Yosheyahu Shammah
Syrian - Shami
706 Avenue T
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Shuva Israel
New York
Brooklyn
Persian
2015 Avenue R
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Tiferet Torah Congregation
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Michael Haber
Syrian
1741 East 3rd Street
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West Side Sephardic Synagogue
New York
Manhattan
Syrian
270 West 84th Street, wsssynagogue.com
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Yad Yosef Torah Center
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi David Ozeri, Rabbi David Sutton
Syrian
1032 Ocean Parkway, yadyosef.org
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Congregation Yam Hatorah
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Isaac Mohadeb
Syrian
1573 East 10th Street
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YDE Synagogue
New York
Brooklyn
Rabbi Ralph Gindi
Syrian - Shami
2533 Coney Island Avenue, ydeschool.org

New Jersey

The New Jersey community is mainly based in Monmouth County, especially Deal, Elberon, Long Branch, Oakhurst and Bradley Beach. The community largely consists of people who reside there during the summer months, though some live there permanently, especially in the more inland regions of Eatontown, Oakhurst and West Deal. Hillel Yeshiva, located in Ocean Township, is a notable private school that is popular among the youth of year round residents in the Deal area.
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Bet Rachel
New Jersey
West Long Branch
Rabbi Howard Bald, Rabbi Richard Tobias
Syrian
48 Larchwood Avenue
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Edmond J. Safra Synagogue of Deal
Joseph S. Jemal synagogue (an extension of the Hathaway shul)
New Jersey
Deal
Rabbi Isaac Farhi
Syrian
75 Hathaway Avenue, Safrashulnj.org
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Logan Road Synagogue
New Jersey
Ocean Township
Rabbi Sion Ozeri
Syrian
1200 Roseld Avenue
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Magen David of West Deal
New Jersey
West Deal
Rabbi Saul J. Kassin, Rabbi Albert Setton, Rabbi Joseph Dana
Syrian
395 Deal Road, Westdealshul.org
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Magen David Congregation
New Jersey
Bradley Beach
Syrian
101 5th Avenue
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Synagogue of Deal
160x160pxcenter
New Jersey
Deal
Rabbi Isaac Dwek
Syrian
128 Norwood Avenue, DealShul.org
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Synagogue of Oakhurst
New Jersey
Oakhurst
Rabbi Jack Mevorah
Syrian
280 South Lincoln Avenue
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Ohel Simha
New Jersey
Long Branch
Rabbi Shemuel Choueka
Syrian
295 Park Avenue, Ohelsimha.com
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Ohel Yaacob
New Jersey
Deal
Rabbi Moshe Malka, Rabbi Eli Mansour
Syrian
4 Lawrence Avenue, Ohelyaacob.com
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Ahabah Ve Ahva
New Jersey
Deal
Rabbi Michael Haber, Rabbi Joey Haber
Egyptian
108 Norwood Avenue, Hechalshaul.weebly.com
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Shaare Ezra
New Jersey
Long Branch
Rabbi David Nahem
Syrian
36 Cedar Avenue, Cedaraveshul.org
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Ohel Yis'hak Sephardic Synagogue
New Jersey
Allenhurst
Rabbi Moshe Shamah
Syrian
108 Allen Avenue
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Magen Avraham
New Jersey
West Long Branch
Rabbi Reuven Semah
Syrian
479 Monmouth Road, wlbshul.com
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Shaare Tefilah Bnei Moshe
New Jersey
Eatontown
Rabbi Moshe Douek, Rabbi Victor Gheriani
Syrian
20 Whalepond Road, Eatontownshul.com

Florida

South Florida serves as a winter retreat for many Syrian Jews from Brooklyn and the New York metropolitan area. The majority spend the winter season in the opulent gated community of Turnberry Isle and the surrounding communities, located within the City of Aventura. There they live according to the Jewish and Sephardic traditions of benefiting the community by studying Torah, prayer, and performing acts of kindness.
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! class="unsortable"Address, Website
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Edmond J. Safra Synagogue of Turnberry
Florida
Aventura
Rabbi Galimidi
Syrian
19275 Mystic Pointe Drive, Safraflorida.com
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Shaare Tzion Sephardic Synagogue
Florida
Sunny Isles Beach
Syrian
242-256 174th Street
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Shaare Ezra Sephardic Congregation
Florida
Miami Beach
Rabbi Sova
Syrian
945 41st Street, ShaareEzra.us
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Nahar Shalom
Florida
Fort Lauderdale
Rabbi David Botton
Syrian, Egyptian
3489 Griffin Rd, NaharShalom.com

California

{ class="wikitable sortable"
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! Name
! class="unsortable"Image
! State
! City
! Clergy
! Culture
! class="unsortable"Address, Website
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Young Sephardic Community Center
(YSCC)
California
Los Angeles
Rabbi Daniel Cavalier
Syrian, Moroccan
9051 W. Pico Boulevard, YSCCLA.com
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Congregation Magen David
California
Beverly Hills
Rabbi Benzion Benshimon
Syrian, Persian
322 North Foothill Road, MagenDavid.org
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Michigan

{ class="wikitable sortable"
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! Name
! class="unsortable"Image
! State
! City
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! Culture
! class="unsortable"Address, Website
- valign=top
Keter Torah Synagogue
Michigan
West Bloomfield Township
Rabbi Sasson
Syrian
5480 Orchard Lake Road, RabbiSasson/Keter
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Pennsylvania

{ class="wikitable sortable"
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! Name
! class="unsortable"Image
! State
! City
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! Culture
! class="unsortable"Address, Website
- valign=top
Beit Harambam Congregation
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
Rabbi Amiram Gabay
Rabbi Moshe Haim Arbiv
Israeli
9981 Verree Road
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External links

  • Sephardic and Syrian Jews in Manhattan

  • Category:Sephardi synagogues
    Category:Jewish Syrian history
    Category:Jews and Judaism in the United States
     
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