that teaches a big lesson about Jewish continuity.
In the 1920s, the numbers of Greek Jews and Syrian Jews in New York City were approximately equal. Their observance of Jewish rituals was also approximately equal.
By year 2015, the Syrian Jews of NYC continued to grow rapidly, with less than 1% intermarriage and many new synagogues that did not exist in the 1990s. The number of schools run by-and-for Syrian Jews also increased dramatically.
The Syrian Jews of NYC also added new mikvahs to their infrastructure, while the Greek Jews of NYC had no mikvahs.
By year 2015 the Syrian Jews of NYC had produced dozens of Rabbis, while the Greek Jews had none.
In 2017, I could not find The Pashas with Google, despite several attempts to search for keywords like “Pashas” and “Greek Jews”. The Pashas seem to have vanished.
Between 1980 and 2015, more than a dozen new siddurim and machzorim were published by Syrian Rabbis. Total number of Greek siddurim and machzorim published between 1950 and 2017: zero.
THE VALUABLE LESSON TAUGHT BY THIS TRUE STORY:
Initially, the only significant difference between the Greek Jews of NYC and the Syrian Jews of NYC was that the Greek Jews chose Reform Judaism while the Syrian Jews chose Orthodox Judaism.
BOTTOM LINE: Reform Judaism causes entire communities of Jews to become extinct,
while Orthodox Judaism causes Jewish communities to grow rapidly.
which is known to only very few individuals.
Therefore, I feel it is my responsibility to publicize it,
before it becomes forgotten.
PS: The difference between Greeks Jews and Syrian Jews is also demonstrated by their Hollywood celebrity representatives:
Lea Michele [Sarfati] is an American vocalist and actress, famous for her starring role in GLEE. Lea Michele’s father is [or was] a Greek Jew who converted to Christianity and married a non-Jewish wife [Lea Michele’s mother] and together they raised their non-Jewish daughter [Lea Michele] to be Catholic.
Paula Abdul, another famous Hollywood vocalist, is a Syrian Jew who lights Shabbat candles and helps Chabad.
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