How an Asian Convert to Judaism became Unlikely Leader of Unusual Synagogue

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2192900701What do a Japanese rabbi, a Korean church and a Chinese restaurant have in common?

For Temple Isaiah of Great Neck, on Long Island, N.Y., the answer’s no punch line. The three components have all played a crucial role in the congregation’s colorful 46-year history.

For 37 years, this Reform congregation held the majority of its services inside the Community Church of Great Neck, which serves as the spiritual center for much of the area’s Korean community. Today, Temple Isaiah stands in a space formerly occupied by Uncle Chau’s Chinese Restaurant (the restaurant was demolished, and the synagogue was built from the ground up).

As for the Japanese rabbi, that would be Theodore Tsuruoka, 67, who has led the congregation since 2000.

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Posted by on Monday, September 9th, 2013. Filed under Jewish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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