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June 23, 2015 4:11 pm

Turkish Jewish Community Hosts Iftar Meal at Historic Edirne Synagogue

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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The Grand Synagogue of Erdine in Turkey.

The Grand Synagogue of Edirne in Turkey. Photo: Courtesy.

About 700 people gathered at the historical Edirne Synagogue in northwestern Turkey this week for the customary fast-breaking Iftar meal observed by Muslims on Ramadan, Turkish Hurriyet reported on Tuesday.

Leaders of the Turkish Jewish community personally served guests at the Ramadan feast, in a tent set up by the Social Solidarity foundation, according to the report.

Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, who has headed Turkey’s organized Jewish community since 2013, said the meal was meant to honor the restoration of the synagogue by the Directorate General of Foundations, a Turkish body established in 1924 to manage foundations and estates dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

“We thought that the most convenient way to thank people in Edirne was to share an Iftar meal with them. We thank them all very much. We returned to Edirne and found a more beautiful home than our own,” said Ibrahimzadeh.

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The Grand Synagogue of Edirne, which is the third largest in Europe, was abandoned in the 1980s as Jewish residents more or less emptied out of the city. Its restoration took five years and about $2.5 million, and was completed in March this year with a dedication ceremony attended by top Turkish officials and more than 100 international dignitaries. The building itself was fashioned in the Sephardi style after Vienna’s Leopoldstadter Tempel, which was later destroyed by the Nazis.

The synagogue was briefly the subject of controversy in Turkey after Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Sahin threatened to turn the synagogue into a museum, rather than a house of worship for Turkish Jews, after Israeli security forces raided the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Ultimately, Sahin apologized to the Jewish community in Turkey, and the synagogue was reopened about four months after his remarks.

Turkey’s Jewish population today numbers just around 20,000 individuals, making up a very small percentage of Turkey’s more than 77 million population.

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  • Rachel Kaissar

    I would like to find out how to contact the Turkey’s Jewish Community Chairman Isaac (Ishak) İbrahimzadeh. Could you please, help me to get the contact information.

    Thank you

  • sara rifka

    solidarity my goodness…….having to share a meal with evil souls just to placate and polish my doorstep is beyond truth….its ugly, bullying and actions filled with lies and structure….

    sharing a meal on a traditionally muslim holiday only hammers down
    how slavery of body and souls exists in this horrid atmosphere.

    why you would want your children to witness this chore year in and year out with such UGLY DEPRAVED MONSTERS is beyond real.

    perhaps there is a time when those who do not leave terror should expect those outside the walls to save them so they can continue to live in stupidity and hatred……well….thats a stretch…….and, it is your problem at that time.

    i do not honor stupidity of place…..your not TURKISH….YOUR JEWISH AND HAVE A COUNTRY TO GO TO SAFELY…….

  • pam

    Turkish Jews , Iranians Jews, Egyptian’s Jews ,Russian Jew’s, German Jews, Arabian Jews, Ethiopians Jews, Sudaneses Jews ,Polish Jews, American Jews, waoooooo African Jews in American Jews, European Jews, Asian Jews, only Australia has no indigenous Jews,,, but has settler,,,, arabs what lesson can be learn from this, why not arab every where this where Isaac is more intelligent more than ishmeal

  • Joseph Feld

    For 400 years the Turkish Ottoman Empire ruled Palestine and was a safe haven for Jews fleeing European Christian persecution. Post WW1 Palestine passed to the British Mandate to build a Jewish national home. Turkey and Iran, both Muslim states but not Arab, were on reasonably good terms with Jews and Israel, until the recent regimes embraced a more Islamist leadership.

  • 10

    I AM LIVING IN A TWILIGHT ZONE MONITORING THE JEWS FOR 7 YEARS WITH NO ANSWERS BUT EXCUSES AND INSTRUCTIONS IN THE MIND.

  • 10

    SHALOM T.V IS DISTRIBUTING ALL THE JEWS INTERVIEWED TROUBLES.

  • 10

    GOD FOLLOWS PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT IN CLOTHES STYLE, MUSIC, FOOD, HOMES POSITIONS IN WORK, CITIES THEY CHOOSE TO LIVE, LONG PERMANENT MARRIAGE, GOD WILL GIVE THE AMOUNT OF CHILDREN, GOD WILL KEEP LOVE AND NOT TAKE AWAY, FAMILIES WILL WANT EACH OTHER AND AGREE, MONEY WILL PROVIDE NOT TAKE AWAY. GET WELL WILL WORK.

  • 10

    THE RADIO STATIONS ARE PROGRAMMED NOT ALLOWED AND THEY THINK ITS THEIR FORMAT BY THEIR OWN MIND AND OWNERS. IF THEY GO OUT OF THE SCHEDULED MUSIC THE SECOND CONTROLLER WILL BRING THEM DOWN. ITS TO LIMIT SO THE NUISANCE CAN BE CREATED BY THE LISTENERS AND ENJOYMENT COMES TO A END TO WAIT FOR BETTER.

  • 10

    THE SECOND CONTROLLER DID NOT BOTHER ARTIST STARS WHO HOLD COPIED RELIGIONS AND MANY WHO SUCCEEDED PUT THEM IN THE ENQUIER MAGAZINE AND HEADLINES.

  • judorebbe

    They are also currently making plans to host a Christmas dinner to honor the Blessed Virgin. – Cut the “interfaith outreach” nonsense. It doesn’t increase respect from our non-Jewish neighbors, it increases their disdain.

  • 10

    GOO GOO DOLLS SONG IRIS NAMED BY SATAN TO MAKE A FOOL OF THEM AND LOOKING AT YOU BY GOD INSTRUCTIONS.

  • 10

    YOUTUBE. SONG Vuela muy alto – Jerry Rivera I CAME TO SPANISH MUSIC TO RUN AWAY FROM SATAN DEVOURING ME IN HIS INPUT OF DISGUST. MUSIC ONLY.

  • 10

    GOD GAVE ONE RELIGION JEWISH PROPHETS TO THE PEOPLE AND PEOPLE TOOK MADE MAN MADE HOLINESS COPIED THE JEWISH PROPHETS AND GAVE THE ATTENTION TO REACH THE HIGHEST BY CONCRETE ONLY.

  • 10

    GOD DID NOT GIVE OUT MANY RELIGIONS TO PEOPLE ONLY ONE AND THE PEOPLE DID WHAT THEY WANTED AND RESERVED THEIR HOLINESS.

  • 10

    ASKING PULLING FORCING FOR A SMALL AREA ON THE CORNER OF THE MIDDLE EAST GRABBED THE WORLDS ATTENTION BECAUSE JEWISH WAS NOT ALLOWED THAT IS GOD. THE SAME OTHERS IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARE LOOKING FOR THEIR OWN SPACE WHERE THE JEWS ARE.

  • 10

    WORKING WITH GOD AND HARD TO FIND KOSHER FOOD WHEN I PICKED UP NON KOSHER FOOD SATAN TOLD ME TO DROP IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

  • 10

    THE SECOND CONTROLLER CAN HAVE ANY PRODUCTS HE WANTS ON ANY SHELVE HE CHOOSES

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