The Mashadi Jews are an ethno-religious people group who religiously adhere to Judaism and ethnically originally migrated from the Jewish community of Mashhad of Iran beginning in 1940s and continuing through the 1980s.
Historically similar to many of other Jewish peoples, they gravitated toward professions that allowed their trade skills to flourish. They were avid merchants, navigating the ancient Silk Road. They were held with the highest regard by Sunni Turkmen, because of their reputation for honorable and ethical business practices.
The Mashadi Jews in the United States no longer have ties with Iran as their founding forefathers did when they arrived in the United States. For many, their country of origin now is the United States with English as their first language. However, they still value their ancestral heritage as they remain steadfast in their community ties. Their religious faith and community provide key components forming their distinct people group identity.
Kings Point, a village constituting part of Great Neck, has the greatest percentage of Mashadi Jews in the United States. Unlike the Iranian community in Los Angeles, which contains a large number of non-Jewish Persians, the Persian population in and around Great Neck is almost entirely Jewish.
Several thousand of the Great Neck area's 10,000 Mashadi Jews trace their origins to the Iranian city of Mashad, constituting the largest Mashadi community in the United States. After practicing Judaism in secret for almost 100 years, the Mashadi Jews found freedom in the United States. The Mashadi community in Great Neck operates its own synagogues and community centers, and members typically marry within the community.
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