Episode: 5

A Community Grows In Brooklyn


Episode 5: A COMMUNITY GROWS IN BROOKLYN (1945 – 1965), tells the story of the community’s postwar boom in the 1950s, including the move to Ocean Parkway. It introduces new religious and educational leaders, including Hacham Baruch Ben Haim, Rabbi Abraham Hecht, and Isaac Shalom. The film chronicles the building of the Magen David Community Center, Magen David Yeshiva, and Shaare Zion Synagogue. This episode also explores the cooperative spirit of the Syrian businessmen, supporting each other’s success in the U.S. and the Far East. It celebrates the heyday of Bradley Beach, where the community gathered in the summers, and honors women’s roles in preserving traditions and holding families together. 




Episode 3: LIFE IN BENSONHURST covers the move to Bensonhurst Brooklyn, and life on Bay Parkway. It includes the building of Magen David Synagogue, the first Syrian synagogue on American soil, and the Talmud Torah, led by the great Rabbi Matloub Abadi. We hear about the Ahi Ezer synagogue built by the Damascus community – and how the two communities, divided in Syria, became united as one in the United States. This episode includes the Great Depression, when, through their religion and tradition of charity, the community supported each other through the hardships of that time. The film ends with the Edict of 1935, preserving the community’s cohesiveness for generations to come.

Episode 4: THE WAR YEARS

(1939 – 1945)

Episode 4: THE WAR YEARS explores the community’s participation in World War II. It tells the stories of the brave men who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, of civilian service, and how community men and women worked hard on the home front, raising money for war bonds, patrolling the coastline and publishing the Victory Bulletin, an extraordinary document of the community’s wartime experience. We hear Chief Rabbi Jacob Kassin call the community to prayer on D-Day, remember the men who lost their lives, and feel the excitement of the war’s end, when servicemen come home, get married and begin their lives again.



Episode 6: THE JEWS OF SYRIA tells the dramatic story of how the Syrian Jewish community in Aleppo and Damascus (along with other Jews in Arab lands) experienced harsh treatment and violence, and were forbidden to travel or emigrate following the partition of Palestine in 1947. Along the way, we learn about the Aleppo Codex, the Great Synagogue of Aleppo, the riots against the Jews, efforts to escape, and the re-settlement of some Syrian Jews.


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