New York City's Syrian Sephardic Jewish population has spent most of the past century living in established Brooklyn communities in Bensonhurst, Midwood, Flatbush, and Gravesend. However, a recent migration into Manhattan has led developer/rabbi Elie Abadie to build a synagogue, Congregation Edmond J. Safra, and a preschool, the Sephardic Academy of Manhattan, and now to announce his biggest project yet, a 12-story, $50 million, glassy behemoth of a community center at 130-134 East 82nd Street. Three adjoining townhouses, which, city records show, were purchased between February 2010 and October 2011 for a combined $14,757,190, are set to be demolished next month to make way for the Moise Safra Community Center, which will be designed by PBDW Architects. According to Tablet Magazine, the center will open in 2014 and "will feature a kosher café, a swimming pool, exercise and recreation rooms, a kitchen for cooking classes, and a two-level banquet hall with an outdoor terrace graced by skyline views and a 'glamour pool.'"
· Sephardic Jews Take Manhattan [Tablet Mag]