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We will send regular newsletters to our members who have signed up for receiving it during the registration. In 'mymerhaba' newsletter, our editorial staff provides updates, with regard to any information related to places worth visiting, viewing, or otherwise worth knowing, for those who care to know more....

Synagogues

 Untitled Document There are several synagogues serving Istanbul's Jewish community and may have existed in one form or another since Roman times. The oldest is at Balat while the largest congregation is at the Neve Shalom synagogue.

Aşkenazi Synagogue
The only remaining active synagogue of Askenaz Jews in Istanbul. It was built by Austrian originated Askenaz. It exhibits a different view than the more traditional Sefare and Romaniot synagogues with its European style façade, Polish influenced Ehal (a cupboard in which copy of the Old Testament hand written on parchments are saved) and Teva (pray pulpit).
Banker Sokak 10, Karaköy
Tel: (212) 243 69 09

Bakırköy Synagogue
Cumhuriyetçi Sokak, Bakırköy
Tel: (212) 542 51 02

Balat Ahrida Synagogue
This is the oldest and the most beautiful synagogue in Istanbul. Its name comes from the destruction of a town in Macedonia (Ohrid). It has a community of 500 people and built before the conquest of Istanbul and has been open for worship since then. The ceiling and the walls of the Synagogue reflect the magnificence of Baroque style and were restored at the end of 17th century. The most fascinating aspect is the Sacred Chest covered by goblin clothes and in which rare and precious parchments were kept.
KürkçüCeşme Sokak, Balat
Tel: (212) 523 47 29
Tours by prior appointment only. Please contact Madam Korin at above number.

Burgazada Synagogue
Kış Bahçeleri Sokak 2/1, Burgazada
Tel: (216) 351 85 49

Büyükada Hesed Leavraam Synagogue (open only in summers)
Pancur Sokak 15, Büyükada
Tel: (216) 382 57 88

Caddebostan Synagogue
Taş Mektep Sokak 13, Göztepe
Tel: (216) 356 59 22

Etz Ahayim Synagogue
Ortaköy is considered to be a typical Jewish settlement. After the Bedesten fire in 1618, and with its synagogue, church and mosque in a small triangular area, it became an example of how people of three religions were able to live in harmony and tranquility. The name Etz Ahayim means "Life Tree". The Synagogue was ruined by fire in 1941 and the only thing saved was a cupboard (Ehal) in which a copy of the Old Testament, hand written on parchments was kept.
Muallim Naci Sokak 40/1, Ortaköy
Tel: (212) 260 18 96

Hasköy Maallem Synagogue
Aynalıkavak Harab Çeşme Sokak 20, Hasköy
Tel: (212) 253 71 60

Haydarpaşa Hemdat Israel Synagogue
This synagogue is located very near to Haydarpaşa Station. Its name is derived from the following story. During its construction phase, the Greeks began to quarrel in order to hinder the completion of the synagogue. Sultan Abdülhamit II then sent a detachment from the Selimiye barrack to end the fight and the synagogue was then built. As a sign of gratitude it was named “Hemdat Israel”, which has the same writing as “Hamid” in Arabic and means “Israel's Compassion”.
Yeldeğirmeni Izzetin Sokak, Kadiköy
Tel: (216) 336 52 93

Heybeliada Beth-Yaakov Synagogue
Orhan Sokak 12/1, Heybeliada
Tel: (216) 576 09 81

Italian Synagogue
Şakir Ziya Paşa Yokuşu, Laleli Çeşme Sokak 8, Karaköy
Tel: (212) 293 77 84

Kuzguncuk Beth-Yaakov Synagogue
Icadiye Caddesi 9, Kuzguncuk
Tel: (216) 343 16 98

Neve Shalom Synagogue
The Synagogue is located at Galata, Kuledibi and its name means “Habitation of Peace”. The synagogue was rebuilt with the renovation of the gymnasium in the Jewish primary school. It was a sanctuary in 1938 since the necessary permissions could not be obtained and it was not put into service until 1949. Then the project washas been prepared by two new Istanbul Technical University Jewish graduates, Elio Ventura and Bernard Motola. Neve Shalom Synagogue then opened to worship in 1951. Its dome carrys an 8 ton chandelier, stained glass windows of which the glass was specially (imported from England) and interesting marble divisions. The synagogue was partially damaged by a terrorist bomb attack on September 1986 and after the repairs were completed it was put into service on May 1987. Unfortunately on November 15, 2003, twenty-three people were killed and more than three hundred others were injured in the suicide attacks to Neve Shalom and Beth Israel Synagogues.
Neve Shalom is a traditional, conservative, egalitarian congregation affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and serves Metuchen, Edison, and the surrounding communities. Neve Shalom has a full-time rabbi, cantor, and education director. The synagogue sponsors an afternoon religious school, a Hebrew high school, nursery school, nursery summer camp, adult education, adult and children's choirs, clubs for youth of all ages, Sisterhood, Men's Club, and many special events.
Prayer at Neve Shalom is a warm, communal experience. All members are encouraged to participate in and lead services. In addition to High Holy-Day and Shabbat, Neve Shalom offers a daily morning Minyan, Learners' services and Family Services. Nursery School and Day Camp are fun and challenging. Jewish education spirals from year to year through their Religious School.
Büyük Hendek Caddesi 61, Galata
Tel: (212) 293 75 66

Sirkeci Synagogue
Istasyon Arkası, Sirkeci (Behind the Sirkeci Train Station)
Tel: (212) 513 30 43

Şişli Beth-Israel Synagogue
Osmanbey Efe Sokak 4, Şişli
Tel: (212) 240 65 99

Yanbol Synagogue
This is the second synagogue in Balat and was established by the immigrants off Yanbol in Macedonia. The pictures painted on the ceiling are of Yanbol town.

Yeniköy Synagogue
Köybaşı Caddesi 242, Yeniköy
Tel: (212) 223 15 31

Jewish Museum (former Zülfaris Synagogue)
This synagogue was established at Galata in the 17th century but the building that stands today from the 19th century. It is inactive due to a decrease in the community and its location which is predominantly a business center. It was converted to the “500 Years of Tranquil Life Museum” during the celebration activities in 1992.
Tel: (212) 244 44 74

Moreover, there are Synagogues in Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Çanakkale, Edirne, Gelibolu, Kırklareli, and Antalya, however only the Synagogues in Ankara, Izmir and Bursa are in service.





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Latest comments about this article

 By Esterina  2.12.2003

My 12 year old soon needed to do a paper in yeshiva on the turkish synagogues.Thank you for the great info...He also wrote that his great-grandfather was born in Salonicka at the time it was under turkish rule. Saludes,al los djuidios de turkiya

 By mymerhaba team  17.11.2003

Chief Rabbi is the only authorized person for the Jewish Community in Turkey for all your contributions related to the catastrophe in Istanbul. Address: Yemenici Sokak 23, 80050 Beyoğlu Istanbul Tel: (212) 293 87 94-5 Fax: (212) 244 19 80 Thanks for your interest.

 By Guest  15.11.2003

I want to make a contribution directly to the Rabbis at Beth Israel and Neve Shalom in Turkey. Can you help with the information? Gerry S [email protected]

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