Twelve Syrian Jewish women arrived at Kennedy Airport in New York on Thursday (11 August) to join husbands in Brooklyn whom they'd never met, but whom they'd recently married by proxy.
GV & CU Brides-to-be posing with future husbands(6 shots)
SCU Spokesman explaining reasons for matches
SV Bride speaking through interpreter with husband-to-be
SCU Husband-to-be speaking to reporter and to future wife looking puzzled
GV & CU Synagogue
SCU Rabbi speaking to reporter
STEVEN SOLARZ: "We discovered that of all the problems confronting the Jewish community in Syria, there was one in particular which stood out. And that was the plight and the problems of about 540 single Jewish women for whom, by and large, there were relatively, few if any, single Jewish men available for them to marry."
BRIDEGROOM: "I speak very little and she doesn't speak English, so it'll be a bit difficult in the beginning. But we'll work it out."
REPORTER: "When will the religious ceremonies take place?"
RABBI HECHT TO BROOKLYN: "To tell you the truth, they'll first have to start a courtship, and when that develops and flowers then I think we'll start talking about the religious ceremony. Of course, you must understand that there's love at first sight and there's love at last sight. We don't know which one it's going to be. But we do hope these young men will fall in love with them and develop into a very wonderful relationship."
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Background: Twelve Syrian Jewish women arrived at Kennedy Airport in New York on Thursday (11 August) to join husbands in Brooklyn whom they'd never met, but whom they'd recently married by proxy. They tied the knot to get out of Syria. The marriages took place after months of secret discussions between the Carter administration and President Hafez al-Assad's Syrian government. President Assad had reportedly insisted women would not be allowed to leave until they found husbands in the United States. Brides and husbands met the press when they arrived in New York.