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November 30, 1979 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-11-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Syrian Jewish Community in the U.S.
Is Closely Knit and Strictly Traditional

between
Roughly equivalent to ferences
and
the Ashkenazi kidush, Sephardim
Howard Eisenberg, con- the sebit "is a feast in Ashkenazim in Passover
tributing editor to "Jewish which the hostess ignores practices.
Eisenberg cited three
Living, traced the growth prudent estimates of the
of the prosperous Syrian number of people ex- examples. Sephardim eat
Jewish community in the pected to attend and in- rice. Instead of hiding the
U.S., and asserted that stead prepares enough afikoman, they take half of
mixed marriage is practi- food for the Israeli the middle matza, wrap it in
a cloth and sling it over a
army. ,,
cally unknown."
shoulder,
"explaining that
Not only is marriage out
Eisenberg traced the be-
of the faith rare, but so Is ginnings' of the community this is how our ancestors
marriage to non-Syrian to Joseph Nehmad who,
Jews. Eisenberg reported reacting to the decline of his
– Cat at a recent Deal, N.J. tobacco farms and trading
,,niversary party, out of coman, pawned his wife's
L
some 40 couples, two jewels and, in 1900, became
spouses were of European the first Syrian Jew to mig-
Jewish stock." Deal has a rate to the United States.
large Syrian Jewish coin-_ He became a peddler and, in
munity. little more than a year on
Syrian-born Rabbi Isaac Manhattan's Lower East
Dwek, who came to the Side, he made enough
United States in 1960 at age money to redeem his wife's
13, said "some might call it jewelry and pay his family's
clannishness" but em- passage to America.
phasized that "we are a Other Syrian Sephardim
minority within a minority" followed and whenever
and that "unless we stick Nehmad learned that an-
together and maintain a .other Syrian Jew had ar-
coherent community, we rived at Ellis Island, he sent
shall lose our customs.'al- his oldest son to guide the
together." newcomer, helped him find
Eisenberg reported a place to live, and gave him
that the Syrian Jewish a suitcase full of merchan-
family lavishes love and dise and, the next day, the
the good things of life on new arrival was in business
its children "but the pa- as a peddler."
rental hand is firm in
As the Syrian community
legislating dating laws. expanded,
it slipped over
meet
girl
but
in-
Boy can
into
Brooklyn's
Ben-
i
violate is the community sonhurst section, and
fol-
rule that he cannot 'take
lowed
the
subway
to
Ocean
her out' until her 16th Parkway where Syrian
birthday. Not even then,
say some parents, if he Jewish culture and religion
doesn'thappen to be Sy- flourished. The largest Sy-
rian Jewish settlement,
rian."
some 25,000, is now in the
He said "boy-girl house Bensonhurst-Flatbush sec-
parties are okay before that tion of Brooklyn.
age but they are carefully
From the Ocean Park-
chaperoned.
way site, some of the Sy-
The Syrian Jewish com- rian Jews moved 75 miles
munity in Deal, he reported, to New Jersey's Bradley
is essentially synagogue- . Beach. Later, Syrian
oriented, "orbiting daily as Jews crossed to the other
_ well as on the Sabbath side of Asbury Park and
around its handsome but "settled into the big old
unostentatious dark brick Roaring '20s society
(12 floor-to-ceiling windows homes of Deal described
representing the 12 tribes) in F. Scott Fitzgerald's
This Side of Paradise'."
synagogue."
In only 10 years, accord-
Cooperation is close with ing to Eisenberg, the San
Syrian
three other
Jewish population of Deal
synagogues, all Syrian- rose to i include 450 families,
Sephardic, which have de- roughly 80 percent of Deal's
veloped in West Deal, Elbe- residents. Links between
ron and Long Branch. There Deal and the "mother com-
is a full synagogue every munity" around Ocean
Sabbath.
Parkway "remain strong."
Syrians love pa'rties of Some families maintain
all kinds and they are homes in both places and re-
often synagogue-related, turn to Brooklyn now and
said Eisenberg. An an- then as though "going home
niversary or a birthday, for the weekend."
A Syrian grocery called
:or example, will be
Sesame" now
arked by a "sebit" at "Open
home after Sabbath supplies all the grape
morning services.. leaves, "fila" leaves and pita
that money can buy. There
also two butcher shops,.
Graveg- Daubbed are
a deli-restaurant, a bagelry
ROME (JTA) — Swas- ("an Ashkenazi break-
tikas and slogans were through") and an ice cream
found splashed in blue paint shop which is also under
on more than 50 Jewish rabbinical supervision.
Holiday customs differ
gravestones in the Leghorn
so sharply that Deal's
• Jewish Cemetery last week.
marched Hillel Day School, which
Protesters
through the center of the has 400 children this
city and speeches denounc- year, adding 100 an-
ing the vandalism were de- nually, issued its
livered by the mayor of teachers — most of them
Leghorn and the city's chief Ashkenazi rabbis — a
two-page . list of the dif-
rabbi.

By BEN GALLOB

(Copyright 1979, JTA, Inc.)

4 4



• .

.

We Make Our Own Glasses

carried matza when they
left Egypt."
_Sephardic charoset uses
"millenium-old
recipe with dates (a mud-
colored reminder of the
materials used in making
bricks) instead of apples."
Eisenberg reported that 99
percent of the community's
homes sell their hametz be-
fore Passover.

* ± 2,

a%

Friday, November 30, 1919 21

it

la,

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• PRESCRIPTIONS FOR GLASSES
ACCURATELY FILLED
• DESIGNER FRAMES

• Reasonably Priced

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ROSEN OPTICAL SERVICE

13720 W. 9 MILE nr. COOLIDGE

ll 7-5068

OAK PARK, MICH.

Mon.-Fri. 9:30-6
Sat. 'til 5
Closed Wednesday

' s ;

4

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'IP,

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