The Sephardic Jewish Center of Forest Hills
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 larger 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.
Despite a changing neighborhood and community, the Sephardic Jewish Center has remained committed to its traditional liturgy and Sephardic-Ladino culture. It has welcomed Jews with Iranian, Egyptian, Iraqi, and other Middle Eastern backgrounds into its doors with open arms and is actively engaging with the next generation of Sephardic Jews in New York. Through Shabbatons, public lectures, film screenings, and other communal events, the synagogue continues to act as a home for Sephardic culture for the wider metropolitan area.