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The Last Word

About 15 years ago when we moved from Cleveland Heights to the University Heights-Beachwood neighborhood, a couple of miles away, a neighbor asked which shul we would go to in the new neighborhood. “I don’t know,” I said, “we’ll be right down the road from Green Road Synagogue.” “Oh, you can’t go there,” she said, “they’re Marmorshers!”

From Marmorshers! by Abraham Socher | Fall 2016

yellow-box-image_schor2Inventing American Judaism

But while the Venetian Jews were confined from the 16th century onward to a small, gated island; restricted to the professions of moneylending, rag trading, and medicine; prohibited from owning real estate; forced to wear an identifying yellow cap; and charged extortionate taxes for those privileges, the Sephardi Jews who arrived in New York faced no such restrictions. Even before the new republic enshrined freedom of religion, the Jews of New York, Charleston, and Newport prospered.

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