People Group Highlights

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Jew, Syrian of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 62,500

ROP3 Code: 109665
IMB Affinity Group: North African and Middle Eastern Peoples
Affinity Bloc: Jews
People Cluster: Jews
Language: North Levantine Arabic - (apc)
Religion: Ethnic Religions - Judaism
Country of Origin: Syria

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Majority Located Where

  New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY - 75,000

  New York-Newark-Jersey City, NJ - 1,000

Click here to recommend other locations where this People Group resides.

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Brief Profile

Syrian Jews are Jews who migrated from Syria. Syrian Jews have had a very long and difficult history. Some would say that there have been Jews in Syria since the time of King David and that the first synagogue was even built by King David. Presently very few Syrian Jews remain in Syria due mostly to the Syrian Civil War.

The largest concentration of Syrian Jews in the world is New York, and more specifically Brooklyn. Within the New York metro area, they also reside in the Ocean Parkway area between Ave O and Ave X in Gravesend/Flatbush, Brooklyn; Deal, NJ and surrounding areas in Monmouth County. Click here to view Syrian owned businesses in New York.

They have the desire to be completely American but also completely Syrian. In 1935 an “Edict” was put into place by the rabbis in an effort to seclude the community and keep their Syrian roots. If any individual went outside this edict they were essentially excommunicated.

First coming to America in the early 20th century, Syrian Jews have prospered economically and assimilated into American life while somehow managing to retain their distinct identity, culture, and religious practices. The majority are generally very wealthy living in homes that are worth millions of dollars. They are very loyal to their people and committed to keeping their culture alive within the United States.

The Syrian Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Deal are known for their ability to flourish financially in the secular world, particularly in the garment and electronics industries, while retaining centuries-old religious customs and traditions.

"It's a community that is committed to its rabbis and their rule," said Jonathan Sarna, an American Jewish history professor at Brandeis University.

They are all Orthodox Jew, of the Sephardic tradition. Sephardic Judaism is found among Jews from Asia and Africa, and differs from the Ashkenazi traditions and prayer rituals of those Jews from Eastern Europe. Ashkenazi and Sephardic identity is definitely different, and Syrians Jews are proud of their heritage and traditions. Synagogue attendance is very high at the many Syrian synagogues in Brooklyn and New Jersey.

Prayer Points

  • Due to their insular community, it is difficult for Christians to have access to the Syrian Jews. Pray that somehow this access would come forth. Business is probably the most obvious access point, as more than a few Syrian Jews run and employ people in large corporations.
  • Two major barriers hinder Syrian Jews from becoming followers of Christ: Judaism and materialism. Pray that these barriers would be overcome.
  • Pray that Syrian Jews who go to college or venture out from the Syrian Jewish community will cross paths with evangelical Christians that will lovingly share the Gospel with them.
  • Pray for evangelical Christians and churches to naturally become friends with Syrian Jews with the intent of beginning churches among them.

Learning Resources

Learn more about "Learning Paths"
Online Courses for embracing, encountering and engaging diaspora people. Work at your own pace. Begin anytime and complete the course according to your schedule. Interactive, Hands-On Application.

Learn more about "Reaching the Nations"
This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.

World Religions - Beliefs Overview
An overview of major world religions and cults - their beliefs and practices.

Other Resources

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Bible - Arab, Lebanese (Good News Ed)
Goods New Edition of the Bible in Arabic Lebanese

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

Displaying 1-2 of 2 results.
Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesBrooklynNew York-Newark-Jersey CityNY75,000
United StatesDealNew York-Newark-Jersey CityNJ1,000