The Sephardic Jewish Center of Canarsie has been serving the Sephardic community of Canarsie since 1965. The congregation was originally founded by Ladino speaking Jews from Greece, Turkey and other Balkan communities of the former Ottoman empire. This community mainly derived from those of the New Lots, Brownsville, East New York neighborhoods of Brooklyn from families that immigrated in the early 1900’s. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the congregation had an influx of Sephardic Jews that emigrated from Cuba. Many were from families that had immigrated from Greece and Turkey 30-50 years earlier. Subsequent influxes included some of Iraqi/ Israeli origin and a contingent of Bukharian Jews in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
With a traditional Sephardic Liturgy, services are conducted primarily in Hebrew and Ladino, preserving the Ladino Sephardic culture while melding well with other Sephardim and Ashkenazim into our congregation. Shabbat and holiday services continue in Canarsie welcoming all.
Located at the corner of Flatlands Avenue and East 94th St. until 2012, when the congregation moved to its current location at AAA Canarsie at 9420 East 95th street. The Sephardic Jewish Center of Canarsie was one of the first Sephardic Congregations led by an Ashkenazi rabbi, Rabbi Myron Rakowitz z”l of the REITS School of Yeshiva University from 1969 until his passing in April of 2017.