The YU Sephardic Community Program (SCP) was established in 1964 for the purpose of assisting Sephardic and Near Eastern communities in establishing a strong and vital presence in North America. Today these communities are growing by leaps and bounds and are in dire need of proper resources that will help them to develop the communal and organizational infrastructure that will keep their communities spiritually thriving for generations.
The SCP was co-founded by Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky and Hakham Solomon Gaon A'H with the vision of having YU's community service division play a vital role in nurturing those communities by assisting them to build properly run synagogues and educational institutions. Today, more than 50 years later, their vision has yielded tremendous results and won the respect and admiration of Jewish religious and lay leaders and of countless Sephardim throughout North America. Currently, the SCP still benefits from the leadership of Dr. Dobrinsky. Among his many duties at YU, he still serves as special consultant to the SCP and is integrally involved in its day to day operations.
The Sephardim in the Americas
The SCP was developed at a time when the demographic makeup of the Sephardim in America comprised largely Jews of Spanish-Portuguese and Balkan ancestry. Today, these early Sephardim have been joined by many new groups of Jews from the Middle East who have established formidable communities in America with the help, guidance and services offered by YU's Sephardic Community Program. These Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jewish communities hail from countries all over the world, including Morocco and other North African nations, Syria and other nations of the Levant, Iran (especially Mashhad), Afghanistan, Bukhara, Iraq, and Yemen, to name a few. Indeed, today Yeshiva University's SCP represents a vast array of Sephardic communities that join under one umbrella as a united Jewish religious and cultural force.