Sam Maimon, Merchant and La Boz Columnist
Values Codes I-H-E-L-P
Sam Bension Maimon (Hebrew Name = Bension Nissim Shalom) was born in 1907 in Brusa, Turkey.
His parents were Abraham and Victoria (AKA Vida Sultana) Maimon.
Abraham Maimon (d. 1931) was a Haham, a certified, learned man who served his community in Tekirdag, Turkey as a Rabbi.
One of Sam’s brothers, Solomon, became the Rabbi of Sephardic Bikur Cholim in 1944 after graduating from Yeshiva University.
Along the way …
In 1924, Sephardic Bikur Cholim reached out to Abraham Maimon and offered him a position as a Rabbi for the Seattle congregation. Thus, the Maimon family journeyed to the United States and settled in Washington.
Sam Maimon studied English and attended Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington.
Education was important to the family and, though Sam left school early to help support the family, he read books late into the night.
Fifty years after leaving high school, Sam Maimon received his diploma at a dinner in his honor hosted by Sephardic Bikur Cholim.
In 1933, Sam Maimon opened a grocery store called 24th Avenue Market. It was located at 2401 Yesler Way.
The store was a gathering place for the Sephardi Jews of Seattle and Sam made many contacts with members of the different Sephardi synagogues in the area.
Sam’s brother, Isaac Maimon, later became a partner in the market. Sam owned and operated the 24th Avenue Market until 1967.
Sam Maimon had extensive Judaic knowledge and even taught his nephew, Isaac Azose, who became the Hazan at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth in 1966.
Sam Maimon served as Assistant Hazan of Sephardic Bikur Cholim for forty years.
He also taught courses at the synagogue in Sephardic traditions, cultures and language.
In 1971, Sam Maimon began writing for La Boz, the newsletter of Sephardic Bikur Cholim.
His column was devoted to Sephardic history, important figures, traditions and liturgy.
He often included information about holidays, writing in English, Hebrew and Ladino.
The book, The Beauty of Sephardic Life, is a compilation of all of Sam Maimon’s columns, from 1971-1982.
In 1980, Sam Maimon published the first Ladino-English dictionary.
Sam Maimon married Lucy. They had two daughters, Victoria and Esther, and one son, Albert S. Maimon.
Lucy Maimon was voted “Mother of the Year” in 1971 at Sephardic Bikur Cholim.
Sam Maimon died in 1992 in Salem, Oregon.
Lucy Maimon died in 1985 in Seattle, Washington.
They are buried in the Sephardic Brotherhood Cemetery in Washington.
For more information see Western States Jewish History:
- Maimon; Sam, Beauty of Sephardic Life: Personal Reflections of Seattle’s Sam Maimon; Seattle; Kramer, William M.; 29/1
“Sam Bension Maimon, Whose Joy Was Teaching Jewish Tradition.” Seattle Times. January 21, 1992.
Samantha Silver is our Curator for this Sam Maimon Virtual Exhibit.
We would appreciate any pictures of the Sam Maimon family.