Join us today as we pray for Syrian Jews. They are at the very top of our UPG Priority Matrix, meaning there is little to no chance for them to hear the gospel message. These Jews began arriving in Metro New York in the early 1900’s. Through various forms of oppression, nearly the whole Syrian population of Jews immigrated to New York. Since the early 1930’s they have been very concerned with maintaining their unique ethnic and cultural identity. Thus, marriage outside of the Syrian Jewish community is considered off limits. Even someone who converts to orthodox Judaism may not marry into a Syrian Jewish family. Syrian Jews are Sephardic, meaning they are orthodox Jews from the Middle East. They tend to become more and more orthodox with each generation. You can learn a lot about this community in this New York Times article.
Here are some ways to pray for Syrian Jews:
Syrian Jews have done quite well financially–better than almost any other immigrant group in Metro New York. While they largely live in Ocean Parkway, many have summer homes in New Jersey. Pray that they would find hope in Jesus over material gains.
The community is very insular. Pray for Syrian Jews to have meaningful interactions with Christians outside of their community. Ask God to make those small lights of His gospel grow into the first Syrian Jewish background church.
Pray that God will reveal ways for this community to maintain their ethnic identity while following Jesus–the true Messiah.