The Syrian Jewish Community: Coming to America (1900-1919)
From Executive Producer Joseph J. Sitt, the second installment of his multi-part series on the Syrian Sephardi community, the film begins in the early 20th century and charts the arrival of Syrian Jews in America. It includes why many Jews left Syria, the harrowing boat trip overseas, Ellis Island, and life on the Lower East Side. We learn how the first immigrants worked as peddlers, established their first synagogue, the first Syrian-Jewish stores, restaurants and businesses, as well as institutions such as the burial society and the charitable organization, Maoz La’Ebyon. We meet Isaac Shalom, the first great community leader. The film depicts how the community faced anti-Syrian sentiment and preserved their values and customs in the face of assimilation.