Vice President at Concrete Mortgage Capital Inc. and runs Ezrat Achim
“I knew the story was there, it just wasn’t written. So I wrote it.”
Feeling underrepresented in his own community, Allen Azoulay knew a change had to be made.
When Allen was a student at the Or Haemet Sephardic School, Toronto’s Sephardic Jewish day school, there was nothing in the curriculum about Sephardic history.
“I felt there was a massive educational void within the Jewish communities about what the Sephardic world was. There were no history books, no children’s books and no modern cultural books beyond the 1960s.”
As a reader by nature, Allen absorbed much of Jewish thought by the books available to him, mostly written by Ashkenazic sources. “They were all great and inspiring, but all I could think was where was mine? I knew the story was there, it just wasn’t written. So I wrote it.”
When he was 18, he created the Sephardic Legacy Series, a knowledge hub for Sephardic history and culture. Since then, he has published 5 books and over 50 articles, and held international events promoting Sephardic Judaism and its rich heritage.
With a wealth of knowledge, the Sephardic Legacy Series has become a go-to for all kinds of information and educational resources.
With a mission of preserving Sephardic Judaism and a purpose of educating and inspiring Sephardic and all Jews alike, Allen has created a resource that anyone can use. “I want our history to stand as an example to the world of what the old Jewish world once was, and what we have now.”
Allen’s work has filled a much-needed gap in Jewish education, and he himself feels he has left a legacy behind, as well.
“Many chapters of the book of our people went unread due to the lack of documentation of Sephardic history. The beginning of our people started in Sephardic communities, and are arguably the most important ones for us to know.”
RANDOM RAPID FIRE WITH ALLEN
1. Convention or unorthodoxy
2. Night owl or early bird
3. Bad habit? Thinking of constant growth obsessively
4. Last book you read? It’s All in Your Mind by Sarah Yosef
5. Party trick? Juggle
Allen (Yehuda) Azoulay has always been passionate about his heritage, and so created the Sephardic Legacy Series – Institute for Preserving Sephardic Heritage. This upcoming year he plans on paving the path towards his PhD in Sephardic studies, while working as Vice President at Concrete Mortgage Capital Inc. On the side, he also runs Ezrat Achim, an organization that helps Jewish (mainly Sephardic) families in need.
Interview by Adina Samuels