Sephardic Life (ADVERTORIAL)

Sephardic Life (ADVERTORIAL)

The Jewish Week Media Group has explored aspects of Sephardic Judaism. We hope that you have found it engaging and compelling. Here is additional information from our advertisers.

American Sephardi Federation

The American Sephardi Federation presents its epic 19th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival from March 10th to the 17th at the Center for Jewish History. Program and tickets may be found at

The “Pomegranate Card” gives you special discounts for this unique film festival. Other activities with the American Sephardi Federation will be the operas Nabucco (April 6th – 17th / and Othello adapted in a Sephardi-Moroccan style (June 16th – 30th / starring David Serero, respectively, as Nabucco and Othello.

Compass Real Estate / Angela Rapoport

After 13 successful years as a multimillion-dollar producer with The Corcoran Group, I wanted you to be among the first to know that I have made an exciting transition to Compass. Aligning myself with a firm committed to innovative technology, unparalleled agent support, and creative, forward-thinking is what I need in order to continue to provide the highest level of service and expertise for all of my clients.

With Compass, my clients will have access to robust data with valuable insights and best-in-class technology. My 20 years of real estate experience on the Upper East Side will allow me to create an impactful marketing strategy. When you select me to represent your home, you will have access to my unique market knowledge.

Contact me today to learn about my personalized approach and receive a complimentary market evaluation of your home: / 646-415-9219.


During his lifetime, Edmond J. Safra, OB”M, provided much-needed philanthropy to Jews around the world. His generosity is widely recognized within the Sephardic community, as well as the entire world.

In 2003, Edmond Safra’s dream of a thriving Sephardic presence in NYC became a reality, as the newly dedicated Edmond J. Safra Synagogue opened its doors under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, who was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Dr. Abadie was a longtime confidant to the late Edmond J. Safra.

Throughout his life, Mr. Safra was often in New York City and spent many Shabbatoth in Manhattan. Noting the absence of a formal synagogue and communal center for the Sephardim of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, he expressed a desire to build a central house of worship in the area. As was his practice, he undertook to move this idea from a vision to a reality.

Through the dedication and efforts of his wife, Mrs. Lily Safra, and a team of skilled artisans, the synagogue was completed in December, 2002. Dignitaries, including the Chief Rabbi of Israel and His Honor Mayor Michael Bloomberg, attended an official inauguration of the building. Praise for the edifice was exceeded only by praise for the man who foresaw it and his wife who completed it.

Since opening its doors in March of 2003, the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue has become the communal center that its namesake imagined it would be. Under the spiritual guidance of Rabbi Elie Abadie, the synagogue offers regular religious services, including three daily minyanim, three Shabbat minyanim, daily morning and evening Torah classes, a Bet Midrash program, liturgy studies, and daily tehilim readings.

Moreover, the synagogue has become a prominent social, cultural and educational center, having hosted many events over the course of its existence, including conferences, lectures, Scholar-in-Residence programs, a Bet Midrash Program on parenting, a Women’s Branch, cooking classes, singles’ events, young adult events, children’s programming, a Mommy and Me group, cultural and educational events, and Bikkur Holim/Hesed projects.

The Edmond J. Safra Synagogue is making a difference in the lives of its congregants, and is committed to continuing on the path of growth and expansion. Over the last thirteen years, Congregation Edmond J. Safra has become the cornerstone of the Upper East Side Sephardic Community, and host to many international visitors. Now, it is proud to be the fastest-growing and most famous congregation in the world.

There is no doubt that through its religious services and community programs, this very special congregation has helped revitalize Jewish life in this area of Manhattan. May this synagogue not only be a place of worship, but also a place to touch eternity and to help others find meaning and purpose in their lives.

The Edmond J. Safra Synagogue is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at 11 East 63rd Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenues).

Fendi Chateau Residences

Fendi, the heart of Italian heritage in the luxurious world of fashion, and The Chateau Group, South Florida’s most distinguished developer, join forces to create a new paradigm for oceanfront luxury living.

Fendi Chateau Residences introduces the Italian brand’s first exclusive luxury residences, with an exceptional blend of modern architecture and design. The exclusive, stunning building features 58 flow-through residences, rising only 12 stories, and offers a unique, exciting and global lifestyle experience. The property is located right on the ocean, and is within walking distance of the four main synagogues serving all traditions: The Shul of Bal Harbour, Magen David Congregation (Syrian), Hechal Shalom (Moroccan), and Young Israel of Bal Harbour.

Highlighting the interior design by Fendi, three- to five-bedroom abodes range from 3,300 square feet to more than 7,000 square feet, and boast terraces overlooking the ocean and the bay. Dedicated Shabbat elevators transport you to your private foyer, while a chef’s kitchen equipped with ‘Shabbat mode’ ovens invites you to appreciate sophisticated living at its finest.

Set between the beauty of the ocean and lush gardens with an international feel, the property is in a truly privileged location in a thriving Jewish community where harmony and tranquility meet. Zen-inspired outdoor spaces and ponds overlooking tropical gardens transport you to your very own sanctuary.

Meant to deliver an unrivaled lifestyle, The Residences feature ultra-luxury concierge services, a spa with an indoor European thermal pool, two swimming pools, a private cinema center, a kids’ club, a private restaurant, a doorman, and valet services. And these are just a few of the incredible amenities offered.

(305) 944-4440

Sales Lounge: 9380 Collins Avenue, Surfside, FL 33154


If you love fashion, look no further! FOX’S has just opened their newest location in Manhattan, on 85th & 3rd Avenue.

FOX’S is a must-see destination when shopping for premier designers at irresistible prices. They specialize in fashion apparel and carry an exciting mix of top brands, including those of European designers.

At FOX’S, you will find the depth of inventory to raise your wardrobe to new levels. The selection is updated daily with the season’s latest trends and best-moving styles. Each piece is conscientiously priced to offer you the best value possible. FOX’S carries separates, coordinates, career, casual, active wear and accessories that will make you look AND feel great every day of the year. Have fun shopping at FOX’S, and… Catch the thrill of a great buy!

FOX’S is located at 1501 3rd Ave (85th & 3rd). They can be reached at (212) 362-8409. For more information and other FOX’S locations, please visit their website

Kinneret Day School

Kinneret Day School is one of New York City’s best-kept secrets. Located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, Kinneret provides students from across the spectrum of Jewish practice with a cutting-edge education in a warm and nurturing environment.

Serving students from nursery through eighth grade, Kinneret Day School has a proven record of excellence in Judaic and secular studies. On average, over 75% of Kinneret graduates are accepted into the best specialized high schools in the city, with many choosing to enter elite private and Jewish schools. Kinneret offers a one-of-a-kind combination of varied educational opportunities synthesized with Jewish values, Jewish knowledge, and love of Israel.

To learn more about Kinneret Day School, please visit our website at To schedule an appointment, please call our school office at 718-548-0900.

We are pleased to announce The opening of Menorah Gallery

Founded by Mr. Avi Girshengorn and Mr. Meir Apple, Menorah Gallery offers an extensive selection of antique Jewish ritual objects and art. Coming from two poles of modern Jewish life, they united over a shared passion of Jewish culture and art.

The son of immigrants from the Soviet Union, Mr. Girshengorn grew up in Israel. Raised in a secular household, he was drawn to the aesthetics and beauty of Jewish folk art, and was fascinated by the artistic qualities and legacy of the Bezalel School of Art.

Mr. Apple spent his early years in Williamsburg, Brooklyn before settling in Borough Park. Coming from a Hassidic family, the rich world of Judaica constitutes an integral part of his everyday life, as it serves him in the performance of Jewish rituals.

Now, after more than thirty years of working in the Judaica market, the two have joined together in the establishment of Menorah Gallery!

Born out of this unique encounter, Menorah Gallery is dedicated to the acquisition and trade of rare Jewish artifacts and art. The gallery invests substantial effort into purchasing its inventory from private collectors and estates, in the hopes of expanding the scope and reach of the Judaica market.

Menorah Gallery gives great importance to the authenticity of its articles, and is obligated to verify the details of each. Through the gallery, an exceptional venue in the Jewish antiques market, Mr. Girshengorn and Mr. Apple wish to bring new and fresh spirit to the world of Judaica.

1050 Second Avenue, Gallery 59, New York, 10022. Telephone: (212) 777-8663.

The Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory

The Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory in New York City is the only lab that offers a carrier screening panel for Sephardi-Mizrahi patients. Using state-of-the-art technology, Mount Sinai can also accurately screen for 96 diseases in the Ashkenazi population, more than any other test on the market. Learn about the new tests at

“Our mission is to assist prospective parents and provide the most comprehensive knowledge available regarding their risk of having a child affected with a genetic disease. We have invested years of population-based research and technology adaptation in our clinical laboratory to create tests that not only expand the number of diseases screened, but also increase the breadth of coverage, to improve carrier detection rates and provide more accurate residual risk estimates to patients.” -Dr. Lisa Edelmann, Executive Director of the Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory.

The Portuguese Merchant B Natalie Mizrachi

Drawing from her work at local nonprofits, Mizrachi weaves a cultural coming-of-age novel. “One of the most healthful tools at our disposal is cultural awareness. Yet many young people live in an historical vacuum.”

What follows is an informative read that swiftly captures your attention: A likable millennial travels to South America on a venture that quickly goes awry. As kidnappers vie for control of a 17th century artifact, an international chase ensues. Here, the adventure evolves on two parallel tracks: the past and present at once.

Mizrachi is knowledgeable about the Sephardic Expulsion. Her facts evolve naturally within the context of the modern story. “I hear from Sephardim who say I hit the nail on the head. Modern families are struggling with Sephardic continuity that has survived against great odds and over decades, but their children ask ‘now what?’”

Her characters have rich personalities and are highly relatable. Brace for moments of great humor and introspection in this hard-to-put-down, memorable tale.

The author can be reached at The Portuguese Merchant is available on Amazon and select stores: see ad


The Queens Jewish Community Council serves as a nonprofit, nonpartisan body for action and services for residents and organizations in Queens. Established in 1968, QJCC is dedicated to improving the economic, cultural and social prosperity of the needy throughout the borough with a wide range of social services and cultural and educational programs. It is the lead agency of 146 faith-based organizations, annually serving over 15,000 clients from newborn to advanced age.

Thousands of Jewish poor and near-poor are positively impacted by the work of the Queens Jewish Community Council, benefitting from assistance and support services including: entitlement assistance, medical insurance facilitation, immigrant services, senior programming, women empowerment, pre-job training, family counseling, domestic violence victims assistance, youth mentoring, a Kosher food pantry distributing over 1,500 packages a month, and Kosher meals-on-wheels delivered to 130 homebound elderly.

QJCC is committed to preserving the Jewish presence in Queens by offering year-round cultural events, workshops, and programming emphasizing the borough’s active and diverse Jewish community.

QJCC also has extensive volunteer opportunities. Anyone interested in becoming involved should contact Cynthia Zalisky, Executive Director, at 718-544-9033 or by e-mail at

Raymond Sasson Silver

Raymond Sasson Silver is a full-service store specializing in the finest American estate hollowware and flatware. In addition, we now carry an exclusive line of modern Judaica.

Our large selection assures that you will find a distinctive piece that will look uniquely beautiful in your home, or will make a memorable gift for your family and friends. Full sets of flatware, including unusual antique patterns, are in stock, and others can be secured within days, all at the most competitive prices.

We additionally offer professional polishing, engraving and repairs of all types. Scratches and dents are removed, wobbly pieces secured, leaking vases or Kiddush cups filled, and broken pieces soldered. We also repair chips in glass and can custom make or replace clear or colored glass liners. We even provide all the products you need to keep your silver looking beautiful.

Other services include: insurance appraisals, lay-a-way plans, free same-day local delivery, and domestic or international shipping at cost.

We are located at 1871 East 4th Street (off of Kings Highway), Brooklyn, NY 11223. For more information, please call (917)-586-6293.


Royal Wine releases exciting wines
from Bordeaux

With the holiday of Passover approaching and the growing popularity of French wines, kosher wine aficionados will rejoice at the release of exciting new vintages from Bordeaux.

Following the recent release of Château Moulin Riche Saint Julien 2013, it is with great pride that Royal Wine Corp. announces the introduction of three new wines to its ever-growing portfolio:

• Château Grand Puy Ducasse 2013, a classified Grand Cru from the prestigious appellation of Pauillac

• Château Greysac 2013, a Cru Bourgeois – Médoc

• Château Piada 2013 – Sauternes

Royal Wine is committed to providing its customers with the best wines from all over the world. With these new additions, Royal once again sets the standard for quality wine. The wines will be introduced to the public for the first time at the Kosher Food and Wine Experience, February 29th at the Chelsea Piers in New York City.

“Château Grand Puy Ducasse is a fifth classified growth, just like Château Pontet-Canet. It is amazing that we can offer wines of this level,” says Gabriel Geller of Royal Wine Corp.

“Every time we produce a new kosher run with a Château, it is a challenge for me, after two long years of work, to prove to the winemaking team of this Classified Grand Cru, that they can be proud to put the Grand Puy Ducasse label on the bottle. I am glad to claim today that the expectations have been fully met,” explains Menachem Israelievitch, the French-born Chief Wine Coordinator for Royal Wine.

Château Greysac is an estate of high repute owned by Jean Guyon from Domaines Rolland de By. While Guyon has been producing kosher runs for most of his wines for over 15 years, it is the first time he is doing it with Château Greysac. It is a Merlot-based blend that is ready to enjoy and should complement food very well.

Kosher Sauternes is a very rare occurrence; this 2013 release of Château Piada is the first one since the 2006 vintage. “It has always been a pleasure to produce the kosher run of Piada since the inaugural 1987 vintage,” comments Frédéric Lalande, the owner of the winery. “The winemaking process in Sauternes allows us to make a wine that is identical to the regular cuvee.”

It has been a long time since the release of such classic, highly rated kosher wines from Bordeaux. Wine lovers will be very excited to taste them as soon as they become available.

About Royal Wine Corp.

Royal Wine is the leading producer, importer and marketer of award-winning, world-class wines & spirits that just happen to be kosher. Royal Wine owns and operates two wineries in the United States: Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, CA, which includes the award-winning and Zagat-rated Tierra Sur restaurant, and Kedem Winery, which is located in New York’s Hudson Valley in Marlboro, NY.

For more information, photos or to schedule an interview, please contact

The Small Fish in the Big Sea: Shaarei Orah, The Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, NJ

When you think about the Jewish community in Teaneck, the vision is of an enormous Ashkenazi community boasting many synagogues with large memberships. But did you know that tucked away in the popular West Englewood section is a full-service, flourishing Sephardic synagogue?

Shaarei Orah, The Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, founded in 1994, moved into its permanent and authentically Sephardic location four years ago. The kehila prides itself on providing a warm, welcoming place of worship and promoting the values of tefila, halacha, and customs of Sephardic culture. Rabbi Haim Jachter, Rav of Shaarei Orah, states: “We are delighted to welcome guests of all denominations and pride ourselves on being a friendly kehila, where every new face is greeted with warmth.” Within the kehila, members originate from over 20 different countries, and the Ritual Committee works hard on incorporating various Sephardic minhagim and rotating baalei keri’ah for inclusiveness.

Shaarei Orah also places a high emphasis on youth programming rich in Sephardic culture, including groups and our junior tefila program. This year, Simchat Torah was a 100% youth-run service, including all tefilot, Torah readings, and divrei Torah. There is additionally a highly popular Parent-Child Learning program.

Teaneck offers an unparalleled range of Jewish services including many yeshivot, some of which offer Hebrew immersion programs and hire Sephardic educators, and boasts multiple full-service kosher markets as well as a plethora of eateries.

For more information or to schedule a visit to the synagogue, visit or call the office at 201-833-0800. Shaarei Orah is located at 1425 Essex Street, Teaneck. NJ.

The Sephardic Balkans

Jews have lived in the Balkans since Roman times, but after the 1492 Spanish Expulsion, large numbers of Sephardi Jews fled to the Ottoman Empire. One prominent early arrival was Rabbi Joseph Caro, author of the Shulhan Arukh. Over the next 500 years, Sephardic culture – folklore, cuisine, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) – defined the Jewish communities of Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia.

Salonica – dubbed the “Jerusalem of the Balkans” – was a particularly influential Jewish center. It was simultaneously home to affluent Jewish families and the site of the only organized Sephardi trade union.

Bulgaria’s Jews survived World War II. As Germany’s ally, Bulgaria deported over 11,000 Jews from occupied territories in Macedonia and northern Greece, but at the same time resisted German pressure to deport any of the 50,000 Jews living there. Politicians, intellectuals, and church officials stood up in defense of their Jewish compatriots.

Professor Joseph Benatov teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. He leads an annual Jewish heritage summer trip to the Sephardic Balkans, and lectures regularly on the fate of Bulgaria’s Jews during the Holocaust and on the Sephardic history of the Balkans.

For details about Professor Benatov’s summer trip or to schedule a lecture: / 267.970.1817


In this synagogue, we aspire to preserve Ladino prayer and cultural traditions. We seek new members who would like to honor, learn, and practice Sephardic

Customs; the minhag sefaradi.

Young people with synagogue skills are considered a precious asset. On Shabbat at the teva, we offer aliyot la Torah and Haftorah readings by arrangements preferably made in advance with the synagogue office and gabbai. We welcome the use of the premises for Jewish life cycle events.

Our current members come from various cultural groups and economic levels.

Membership is the most affordable in the Borough of Queens. The Sisterhood

organizes monthly events that are generally open to the public. We are in the

planning stages for celebrations of Purim, Yom Ha-Shoah, and Hag Ha-Pesach. Yes, keep your family’s tradition, revive your connection, or explore a related heritage. Join our synagogue and help create a sustainable minyan and Shabbat study group.

Contact: Office: 1-718-268-2100 (Thursdays and Fridays), 67-67 108th Street, Forest Hills, Queens, NY 11375

The Sephardic Temple

In the early 1950s, a group of young Balkan Sephardim, with the blessings of their elders, organized a new congregation in the New Lots section of Brooklyn under the leadership of Rabbi Arnold B. Marans. Named the United Sephardim of Brooklyn, the congregation reorganized the religious school and utilized the existing facilities of the various local synagogues. The congregation flourished and achieved a singular reputation in the Sephardic community.

Less than a decade later, a committee was formed to establish a new congregation in the Five Towns area. In 1964, the magnificent edifice was completed, and the full range of worship, study, Hebrew School, youth and adult activities were brought together into one facility.
The Sephardic Temple is a welcoming synagogue, and features an award-winning design following the architecture of medieval Spain, with tall perimeter walls, a glass dome and indoor, open gardens.

For over 62 years, Rabbi Marans has led a warm, multigenerational congregation that now has a diverse membership of all kinds of Sephardi, Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews. The Temple steadfastly continues its longstanding tradition of inviting the entire community to join them for religious services. Membership is not required, nor are there fees for High Holiday tickets. With tripartite seating in its main sanctuary, the synagogue makes a point to welcome all Jews.
For many decades, the Sephardic Temple has also been the home of legendary Genadeen Caterers (, and has hosted countless weddings and other functions celebrated by families and organizations. From all over the tri-state area, people schedule their joyous events at this landmark institution.

Located at 775 Branch Boulevard, Cedarhurst, NY 11516. The office can be contacted at 516-295-4644.

The Moise Safra Community Center

Building community relationships through traditional Jewish values are a central component of the Moise Safra Community Center. This world-­‐ class 65,000 square feet facility, currently under construction, is committed to transforming and revitalizing the social and spiritual landscape of the Jewish community on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and internationally.

Named for our beloved benefactor, Mr. Moise Safra, ‘A”H, the Center, designed by PBDW Architects, will be a hub for Jewish social, recreational, cultural and education programming. The Synagogue within the building will encompass traditional Sephardic values, teachings and religious services.

Some of the highlights of the Moise Safra Community Center include:

Ohel Moshe Synagogue that will hold up to 350 people.

♦ A Small Sanctuary and beautiful Beit Midrash.

♦ A Wellness Center, complete with state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art equipment and highly specialized trainers.

♦ A Swimming Pool with a lounge area.

♦ A dedicated Culinary Arts Room with demonstrations and classes.

♦ A Teen Center focused on the social and intellectual growth of our youth.

♦ A breathtaking Banquet Hall, Terrace and Lounge for special events.

♦ A Rooftop Garden and Playground.

We hope you will consider being part of the Moise Safra Community Center to help ensure the vibrancy of our Jewish community and to assist in guaranteeing Jewish continuity.

Interested in receiving updates on the building’s progress, or in joining a committee? Would you like to add your name to our valued group of leaders who have already honored their families through naming opportunities and community building? If so, please contact Eve Nachman, our Director of Development, who would be happy to assist you and answer any of your questions. She can be reached at 212‐359‐0700 or at Please visit to join our mailing list and learn more about the Moise Safra Community Center.