Sephardic Jews (Education, History, & Culture)

Education: Written, Audio, and Websites of Sephardic Rabbis
**Education Section Dedicated in Memory of Rabbi Dr. Ezra Labaton A'H, My Lifelong Rabbi. (July 21, 1950- December 4th, 2013)

As a child, he attended Magen David Yeshiva elementary school and then on to Flatbush Yeshiva High School in Brooklyn, NY. He attended the elite Yeshiva University, where he went on to attain his rabbinic ordination from the great Rav J.B. Soloveitchik at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. After recieving his rabbinic ordination, he moved to Boston, MA. to attend the prestigious Brandeis University in an effort to attain his PHD in Philosophy. Just a year before his passing, he finally completed his PHD in 2012- "A Comprehensive Analysis of Rabenu Abraham Maimuni’ s Biblical Commentary A Dissertation".
He was the Rabbi of Magen David of West Deal Synagogue in New Jersey for over 31 years. Prior to his coming to West Deal, he taught at Maimonides Yeshiva in Brookline, MA. Rav J.B. Soloveitchik  pioneered the Maimonides School, one of the first Hebrew day schools in Boston in 1937. In addition, for a short time he taught at Yeshiva University Stern college for women.
When Rabbi Labaton arrived at the Jersey Shore, he saw a huge need for a Yeshiva High School. Using everything that he had learned over the years, he helped create the Hillel Yeshiva High School in Deal, N.J. He was not only the backbone, but was the only rabbi of the Jersey shore to be involved and teach in the school. He was able to incorporate his vision, expertise, and philosophy of education. Moreover, he was the only Modern Orthodox rabbi of the Jersey Shore community and the only community Rabbi to teach in the high school since its creation.
  1. Rabbi Labaton's a'h Website- Podcast, Stories, Photos, Articles, and his vast library digitized. His classes can also be found on itunes. 
  2. Book: "A Comprehensive Analysis of Rabenu Abraham Maimuni’ s Biblical Commentary A Dissertation"  Full PDF by Rabbi Dr. Ezra Labaton (Congregation Magen David of West Deal in NJ)
  3. Torah Central website- Links to Sephardic Rabbis (shiurim) classes (many classes given by Rabbi Dr. Ezra Labaton A'H)
  4. Merkaz Website- Recorded Classes of Sephardic Rabbis (many classes given by Rabbi Dr. Ezra Labaton A'H)

  1. Rabbi Haim Ovadia- He is an expert on Jewish Law and has been a Rabbi around the world. He works to make halakha relevant and caring to modern day Jews. YouTube Videos & Podcasts on SpReaker.
  2. Articles written by Rabbi Haim Ovadia in the Jewish Journal- Close to 30 articles available on various topics  

  1. Audio Lecture at the University of Maryland 2013: "Sephardic Tradition - The Judaism of the Future" (Rabbi J. Maroof, Rabbi of the Magen David Synagogue in Rockville, MD.) 
  2. Audio Daily Classes: Daf Yomi (Daily Talmud study).(Rabbi J. Maroof-Rabbi of the Magen David Synagogue in Rockville, MD.)
Books (Historical)

  1. Book: "Alien at Home: Divine Intervention: The Life of Elie Sutton" [Kindle Edition] by Bahia Abrams 
  2. Book: "From Aleppo to America: Stories" (2002) by Robert Chira 
  3. Book: "The Syrian Jewish Community in Mexico City in a Comparative Context: Between a Rock and a Hard Place" Paulette Kershenovich Schuster  
  4. Book: "A Global Community: The Jews from Aleppo, Syria (Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology)" (2000) by Walter P. Zenner 
  5. Book: "Let Jasmine Rain Down: Song and Remembrance among Syrian Jews (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)" (1998) by Kay Kaufman Shelemay
  6. Book: "The Damascus Affair: 'Ritual Murder', Politics, and the Jews in 1840" (1997) by Jonathan Frankel 
Books Written by Syrian Jewish Authors
  1. Cookbook: Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews by Poopa Dweck  
  2. Book: "Joseph: How One Man Can Make A Difference" by Jack Doueck 
  3. Book: "Chesed Boomerang: How the Acts of Kindness Enrich Our Lives" -Jack Doueck
  4. Book: "The Debt of Tamar" (2014) by Nicole Dweck  
  5. Book:"Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, PhD


  1. "The Aleppo Codex, the oldest, most complete, most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible" 
  2. "350 Years in North America After 100 Years in U.S., Syrian Jews Maintain Values Their Forebears Held" November 5, 2004 JTA 
  3. "In Memoriam: Rabbi Ezra Labaton" December 6, 2013 by Rabbi Marc Angel
  4. "In Memory of Joseph Beyda A”H"- Image Magazine  
  5. "Sermon Got the Rabbi Hired"- A story about Rabbi Abraham Hecht A'H (1/5/14)
  6. Joseph Sitt is the president and founder of the Sephardic Heritage Museum  
  7. "The Jews of Allepo" by Sarina Roffe
  8. Syrian Jews Assert Influence in NY and Beyond by Voices of NY
  9. "The Jews of Syria" By Mitchell Bard 
  10. "Syrian Jewish Mexicans and the Language of Everyday Orientalism" 
  11. "Syrian Jews Find Haven In Brooklyn" 1990's exodus of Jews from Syria to Brooklyn, NY 
  12. Syrian Jews of Brooklyn by Steve Sailer
  13. "Many Syrian Jews Are Moving to Deal- House Prices Doubled Long List of Customers Strain of Antagonism"- 1973 NYTimes
  14. Sephardi treasures surveyed- NJ Jewish Standard 
  15. "In Mexico City, insular community begins to reach out" By Ben Harris October 6, 2009 
  16. "The rabÍ Yehuda Halevy: The Physical And Conceptual Space of A Sephardic Synagogue In Mexico City" by Cori DiSimone (2007)
  17. "The Jews of Aleppo" by Sarina Roffe
  18. Times of Israel (Various articles about Syrian Jews)
  19. "Brooklyn’s Syrian Jewish Community" 2013 The Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative
  20. "Syrian Jewish Mexicans and the Language of Everyday Orientalism" By Evelyn Dean-Olmsted on July 2, 2012
  21. "Judy Feld Carr:The Rescue of Syrian Jews" 8/25/13
  22. Together in the Field: Team Research among Syrian Jews in Brooklyn, New York (1988) ( JSTOR- Ethnomusicology)- Kay Kaufman Shelemay
  23. Video- Orly Wahba "Kindness and Consequence" - Life Vest Inside
  24. Sephardic Jews Take Manhattan The Syrian community, long based in Brooklyn, makes itself at home on the Upper East Side
  25. A Community, Shaken A wealthy, insular Syrian Jewish enclave in Brooklyn reels after rabbis' arrests by Lucette Lagnado
  26. "In My Father’s Synagogue" A Conservative woman rabbi grapples with her Syrian (American Jewish) family’s gender-stratified customs.
  27. "Choosing one’s losses" by Dianne Esses
  28. "Boiled In Oil"- 7 Convo's on What it means for a Syrian Jewish Woman to become a Rabbi" by Dianne Esses
  29. "What the Hell Is a Syrian Jew?" by Dianne Cohler-Esses
  30. Dianne Cohler-Esses - Jewish Women and the Feminism
  31. Blog: "Freddy the Daddy" – by Freddy S. Zalta
  32. Isaac Mizrahi - Biography 1:39 seconds video
  33. David Adjmi "Once a Boyhood Outsider, Now Reflecting on His Tribe"
  34. Tablet Magazine: The Damascus Affair Playwright David Adjmi’s love-hate relationship with his Syrian Jewish roots 

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