The Forgotten Jews of the Lower East Side: Greeks, Turks and Syrians

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(This Original Essay is Copyrighted by Shelomo Alfassa - All Rights Reserved)

By the first quarter of the 20th century, some 30,000 Sephardic Jews had arrived in New York City, consisting of three independent groups, all three groups which have been often overlooked by most modern historian and authors.

The largest group consisted of the Turkinos (as they called themselves). They were Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) speaking Jews they hailed from Turkey and former Turkish administered cities such as Adrianople, Belgrade, Bucharest, Istanbul, Kastoria, Monastir, Rhodes, Sarajevo, Sofia, Salonika, and others. These Hispanic Jews' ancestors had been made refugees during the 15th century. They had been expelled some 425 years earlier by Spain and Portugal during Iberian Inquisitions. Once welcomed with open arms into cities under the administration of the Turkish Sultan, these Jews had once again become displaced, and would come to find shelter among the crowded streets, stuffy brick walkups and rough cobblestones of the Lower East Side.

The others groups to establish themselves in New York City were the Greek Yanniotes (as they called themselves), and the Jews of Ottoman Syria...


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This page contains a single entry by Shelomo Alfassa published on April 8, 2008 1:12 AM.

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