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Food and Drink - Modern Period - Syria and Syrian Diaspora

(2,005 words)

Author(s): Sarina Roffé
Syrian Jewish cuisine reflects Jewish traditions, the surrounding Levantine culture, and the varied historical roots of Syrian Jewry. The cuisine of the native Mustaʿarabim (Arabized Jews), the foundational element of Syrian Jewish cookery, was heavily influenced by the general foodways of the region. Sephardi influences were introduced after the expulsions from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal and Sicily in 1497. An additional culinary component was introduced by the Francos (Jews mainly from Livorno, but also from Ve…

Shalom, Isaac

(460 words)

Author(s): Sarina Roffé
Born in 1886 in Aleppo, Syria, Isaac Shalom immigrated to Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1910, starting as a textile peddler like many of his fellow countrymen. A successful salesman, he soon became a supplier to other Syrian Jewish immigrants. At the end of World War I, when immigration to the United States reopened, he was able to send for his family. He married Alice Chabot and founded I. Shalom & Co., which soon became the leading manufacturer of men's and women's handkerchiefs and accessories. As New York's Syrian Jewish community prospered, moving across the river from Manh…