Sam Maimon: Jewish Merchant and Sephardic “La Boz” Columnist , Seattle, Washington

Sam Maimon

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Sam Maimon, Seattle Washington

Sam Maimon, Seattle, Washington


Sam Bension Maimon (Hebrew Name = Bension Nissim Shalom) was born in 1907 in Brusa, Turkey.

His parents were Abraham and Victoria (Vida Sultana) Maimon.

Abraham Maimon (d. 1931) was a chacham: a certified, learned man who served his community in Tekirdag, Turkey, as a rabbi.

One of Sam’s brothers, Solomon, became the rabbi of Seattle’s Sephardic Bikur Holim 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.


Seattle, Washington

Sam Maimon studied English and attended Garfield High School in Seattle.

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 hazzan at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth in 1966.

Sam Maimon served as assistant hazzan of Sephardic Bikur Cholim for forty years.

He also taught courses at the synagogue in Sephardic traditions, cultures, and language.


La Boz

In 1971, Sam Maimon began writing for La Bozthe 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 (1993), is a compilation of all of Sam Maimon’s columns from 1971 to 1982.

In 1980, 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.



  •  William M. Kramer, “Sam Maimon: Beauty of Sephardic Life: Personal Reflections of Seattle’s Sam Maimon,” Western States Jewish History 29/1.
  • “Sam Bension Maimon, Whose Joy Was Teaching Jewish Tradition,” Seattle Times, January 21, 1992.

Samantha Silver is curator for this Sam Maimon exhibit.