Farewell to US philanthropist who helped rescue 400 Syrian Jewish brides

Stephen Shalom, a leading Sephardi philanthropist, has died aged 93, JTA reports. His greatest achievement was to rescue 400 unmarried Jewish girls from Syria in 1977. Born in Brooklyn of parents from Aleppo, he fought to dispel the myth that Mizrahi Jews were intolerant of Arabs. (With thanks: Nancy)

(JTA) — Stephen Shalom, a leader of the U.S. Sephardic Jewish community who promoted Middle East peace and religious tolerance, died at 93.

Stephen Shalom z”l (Photo: Sephardic Heritage Foundation)

Shalom died Sunday, his family said in a statement.

The heir to a handkerchief manufacture fortune, I. Shalom, now known as New York Accessory Group, Shalom was at different times in his life a leader of major Jewish and pro-Israel philanthropies. They included the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York (now the UJA Federation of New York), the World Sephardi Federation and Israel Bonds. He was also involved with the American Jewish Committee; HIAS, the Jewish immigration advocacy group; the Jewish Agency, and the Joint Distribution Committee.

Shalom said the accomplishment of which he was most proud was working with Rep. Stephen Solarz, D-N.Y., with the blessing of President Jimmy Carter, to bring 400 Jewish women who wanted to marry within their faith to the United States from Syria in 1977.

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