Sephardic Jews began arriving in Seattle in 1902, not blending with the established culture of Seattle’s Central and Eastern European Jews for many years. They formed a community within a community, launching a Ladino theater troupe as well as a short-lived clubhouse for immigrants from Turkey and Rhodes. (The organization disbanded over “regional differences.”) Some Sephardic Jews became fish barons, dominating the seafood stalls in the early days of Pike Place Market. By 1913, Seattle had the largest Sephardic community in the US outside of New York, and it remains a hub of Sephardic life today.
Sephardic Bikur Holim
Look closely at the Tolliver Temple Church of God on the corner of East Fir Street and 19th Avenue, and you’ll see Stars of David above the windows and a Ten Commandments above the door. This was SBH’s first home before the community relocated to Seward Park.