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The story of Isidore Dayan, and the growth of a vibrant community in America
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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