The Sephardic Jewish
Brotherhood of America
La Ermandad Sefaradi
Our Synagogues and Communities
The Sephardic Jewish Center of Forest Hills - New York
The Sephardic Jewish Center of Forest Hills, founded in the early 1950s, was one of the first synagogues supported in large part by the efforts of the Sephardic Brotherhood. Originally established by Sephardic Jews from Adrianople in Turkey and Salonica (Thessaloniki) in Greece, the synagogue has worked to serve the broader Ladino-speaking Sephardic community of New York throughout its history. Many of its original congregants immigrated to the US from the Balkans, and subsequently settled on the Lower East Side, Spanish Harlem, and The Bronx before finally settling in Queens after World War II. Today, the synagogue is still an active center for Sephardic life and continues to keep to its Sephardic values of warmth, tradition, and open doors to all.
Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum - New York
Kehila Kedosha Janina (the Holy Community of Janina) is the only Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. Romaniote Jews are a unique community of Jewish people whose history in Greece dates back over two thousand three hundred years to the time of Alexander the Great. The Romaniotes are historically distinct from the Sephardim, who settled in Greece after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.
The congregation was first organized in New York in 1906 by Greek-speaking Romaniote Jews from the city of Ioannina in Northwestern Greece. In the early twentieth century there were hundreds of other synagogues on the Lower East Side that served Ashkenazi Yiddish-speaking Jews or Sephardic Spanish-speaking Jews. Needing a place of their own where they could preserve their unique traditions, customs, liturgy, and language, property was purchased at 280 Broome Street and the congregation opened its doors to worship at its current location in 1927.
The Sephardic Temple - New York
Serving Long Island’s Five Towns, the Sephardic Temple at Cedarhurst was founded in 1963. According to scholar Aviva Ben-Ur in her book Sephardic Jews in America, the founding members of the Sephardic Temple were Sephardic Jews primarily from Monastir (Bitola, in today’s Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). During their service in the American military during World War II, some of them came into contact with other forms of Judaism and decided to create a synagogue outside of New York City that preserved Sephardic customs and practices while adapting to new preferences. Rabbi Arnold Marans, ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1953, has served as the rabbi of the Sephardic Temple since its founding, learned the Sephardic traditions, and has sought to instill them in the younger generations.
The Sephardic Jewish Center of Canarsie - New York
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.
Temple Moses Sephardic Congregation of Florida
Temple Moses, also known as Sephardic Congregation of Florida is one of the largest Orthodox Sephardic congregations in Florida, following Sephardic traditions and customs brought from Turkey and Cuba by its founding members more than 80 years ago. Its mission is to ensure the continuation of the Sephardic legacy, heritage, and traditions through active engagement with the next generation of Sephardic Jews in America.
The Congregation sponsors a wide array of religious, educational, and cultural programs for adults and kids. The Congregational societies include the Sisterhood, the Youth Center, the Bikur Holim, and the local Chapter of FESELA. Although Sephardic in orientation, Temple Moses welcomes all Jews. It encourages a sense of community and is proud of the prevailing family spirit among the members.
Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation of Indianapolis
Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Etz Chaim was founded by Sephardic Jews from the communities from the city of Salonica in modern day Greece, as well as from Monastir (Bitola) and Turkey. Today, the congregation celebrates our shared Sephardic culture and worships with over 250 families. There are currently daily minyanim, adult education classes, and one-on-one bar and bat mitzvah classes, as well as extracurricular youth and family classes. The community will be celebrating its 110th Anniversary and continues to be a hub for Balkan and Ottoman Sephardic life in the Midwest.
Congregation Ezra Bessaroth - Seattle
Congregation Ezra Bessaroth is a Sephardic Congregation in Seattle founded by immigrants from the Mediterranean Island of Rhodes. The Synagogue holds true to our Sephardic traditions, fastidiously maintaining the liturgy and customs of the Rhodes tradition.
The first of our congregation to make the journey from the Greek Island of Rhodes to Seattle was Nessim Alhadeff, (1904). Within three years all of his brothers and many others followed him. By 1909 the first steps at formal organization were taken. Moved by the leadership of Haim DeLeon the original group of Rhodeslis formed, (Succoth 1909) the Koupa Ozer Dalim Anshe Rhodes (the fund for the aid of the poor, people of Rhodes) - with Solomon Alhadeff as president, Nessim AIhadeff as treasurer and Harry Franco as secretary. Funds were raised from within the group and were sent to the needy Jewish community of Rhodes.
Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation - Seattle
Established almost 100 years ago in Seattle, Washington by Levantine Jews from western Turkey, SBH has maintained a proud and distinct set of minhagim, cultural standards and meaningful values that reflect the joyous and lively approach to living a life that is distinctively and deeply Jewish and yet still accepting and connected to the world around us.
Sephardic Bikur Holim maintains a deep connection to our heritage manifested ritually through hazzanut, the knowledge and practice of its liturgy, which is unique even among Sephardic congregations. Culturally SBH is connected through language (Ladino), its foods, its love of family and its deep respect for the idea of tradition itself. As the congregation reaches its centennial, SBH is primed for new leadership – one that ensures its sustainability and its mission and one that creates meaningful Jewish experiences and opportunities for its diverse Jewish community.
Congregation Ahavath Achim - Portland
Congregation Ahavath Achim is Portland's Sephardic Synagogue. The community was founded by Sephardic Jews from the Island of Rhodes and mainland Turkey in the early 1900s and still maintains much of the traditional Ladino-Sephardic customs and traditions of the Ottoman Empire. Our congregation welcomes Jews of all backgrounds and is proud to include Ashkenazim in addition to Sepharadim.
Congregation Ahavath Achim is a welcoming synagogue with programs and events for members of all ages. We offer weekly classes, cultural and educational programs, as well as prayer services every Shabbat and all holidays. We offer services every Shabbat led by members of the community. Our prayer services are offered in the traditional Sephardic styles, incorporating melodies from Rhodes, Turkey, Morocco, Yemen, and many other Sephardic countries. A drasha related to the weekly Torah portion is given by our rabbi who infuses current events and practical applications to make the sermon more relevant to our lives.
Congregation Or VeShalom - Atlanta
Congregation Or VeShalom (OVS) is a Sephardic synagogue located in North Druid Hills, Georgia and is known as one of the warmest and friendliest synagogues in Atlanta— with a name meaning it is a congregation of “Light and Peace.” At 450 families strong, it is dedicated to spiritual and intellectual growth, education, programs and developing its center of study and house of prayer.
Throughout history, in good times and bad, the kehila served our community as a “light” that encourages “peace” among its neighbors. The rich Jewish heritage originates in Turkey and the Isle of Rhodes, but welcomes Jews of all backgrounds. Services are primarily Sephardic, yet its members reflect a varied and harmonious background of Sephardim and Ashkenazim. Today, it has an extremely diverse membership that traces its roots from the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, North, Central and South America, and even Atlanta.