The story of Isidore Dayan, and the growth of a vibrant community in America
The orphan, raised by his grandmother, caught in an unusual custody battle that only a bet din can resolve.
The prosperous businessman building up a family and a community on the quiet streets of Bensonhurst, lending money to others so that they can open a business that will compete with his own.
The generous philanthropist cleaning up the synagogue he helped to build.
The indomitable optimist who pulled himself out of poverty, but who always knew where his success really came from.
This is Nouri's story
He was a man of many names: Ezra, Nouri (which, appropriately, means "my light"), Isidore, Izzy. He was a larger-than-life personality, helping to create a larger-than-life community, and it needs a larger-than-life book to tell his story. This is Nouri's book.
Nouri: The Story of Isidore Dayan, and the growth of a vibrant community in America focuses on one of the most intriguing personalities of the modern Jewish world. The tale spans almost a century, includes two World Wars, and features a panoramic background ranging from Baghdad and Damascus to Brooklyn, from Czechoslovakia to Baltimore to tiny Vineland, New Jersey.
In the pages of this biography-that-reads-like-a-novel, you will meet famed gedolim: Hacham Murad, Nouri's mentor and eventually his father-in-law; Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz, the Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, whose efforts and care for Klal Yisrael included the Sephardim of America; and Rav Yitzchok Hutner, who, together with Nouri's daughter and son-in-law, underwent a harrowing terrorist plane hijacking.
You will meet men who create businesses built on generosity and adherence to Jewish values; Sephardic grandmothers filled with the unyielding strength of simple devotion; and a new generation of young Sephardim determined to reach - and teach - higher levels of Torah learning. And, of course, you will meet Nouri, the quiet, unassuming, and friendly man who became a legend in his community.
The young, poor orphan becomes a wealthy businessman: it's almost a cliche. But in Nouri's story there are no cliches. There are only remarkable instances of Divine Providence, self-sacrifice, devotion, and an almost extraordinary level of chesed and caring - a true life odyssey that reads like a novel.
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