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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Elena Locascio

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated access restrictions.  , April 2019

Container List

Oral History Interview with Marion Sedorowitz, April 11, 2018

Biographical / Historical

Marion Sedorowitz was born in 1954 in Brooklyn and was raised in Hauppauge, New York. As a child, she attended the Brooklyn Moslem Mosque in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, which had been founded by her Tatar community following their immigration from Eastern Europe throughout the early 1900s. She briefly worked as a pharmacist after earning a bachelor and a master's degree in pharmacy from St. John's University in Queens, and then went on to become a consultant for the creation and management of electronic medical records. As an adult, she also became involved in the management of the Brooklyn Moslem Mosque, including serving as treasurer on the board with her niece, Alyssa Haughwout (interviewed for this collection on April 25, 2018) and planning the mosque's centennial celebration.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Marion Sedorowitz discusses her family, especially regarding their traditional Tatar cooking, immigration to the United States, religious traditions, and involvement with the Brooklyn Moslem Mosque in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. She expands on her own experiences with the mosque, including her successful efforts to remove the curtain preventing women from seeing the imam during prayers, her organization of the centennial celebration, and generational friction within the board about modernized outreach and records-keeping. In addition, she talks about her childhood experiences in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, work in the medical field, and concerns about Islamophobia. Interview conducted by Liz H. Strong.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Names

  • Haughwout, Alyssa
  • Sedorowitz, Marion

Subject Organizations

  • American Mohammedan Society (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn Moslem Mosque (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • Cooking, Tatar -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Cultural pluralism -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Islam -- Customs and practices
  • Islamophobia -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Special events -- Planning -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Tatars -- History
  • Tatars -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Technology and older people -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Women in community organization -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Women in Islam -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Bushwick (New York, N.Y.)
  • Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.)