"How can you call Ferdinand a wise king? He impoverishes his kingdom and enriches mine!" says sultan Beyazid II when he welcomed the Jewish families into Istanbul in 1492 after the dark times of the inquisition in Spain.

 

The history of the Jewish presence in Istanbul goes back to the Byzantine Empire. An official decree dating the 420 AD shows that Theodosius II exiled the Jews from Constantinople to Galata and they mostly had difficult times during the reign of the Byzantine Empire.

 

After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 the Romaniots (Jews who lived under the Byzantine rule) became free, equal citizens of the Ottoman Empire. The ghettos of the Byzantine era became free Jewish neighborhoods in Istanbul. The most important Jewish neighborhoods are Galata, Balat, Haskoy, Sisli, Ortakoy, Ulus on the European part of Istanbul and Kuzguncuk, Kadikoy, Haydarpasa on the Asian part of Istanbul. There are about 17 active synagogues today in Istanbul.

 

By our private Jewish Istanbul tours, our professional lecturer - tour guides would guide you through the old and new Jewish neighborhoods of Istanbul, give wide information about the past and present Jewish life in Istanbul. Like our other private tours in Istanbul, the private Jewish tours are also tailor made. We may arrange the private Jewish tour according to your needs and timing. We may also design itineraries that combine the Jewish sites with main sites Istanbul if our guests prefer to do so.

 

We are available to assist our guests with their needs of Kosher food catering and prayer reservations at the synagogues as well.

Ashkenazi Synagogue

Inaugurated in September 17th, 1900, by the edict from Sultan Abdulhamid II, Ashkenazi Synagogue is the only remain synagogue that performs the services in Ashkenazi style. The synagogue is located in one of the oldest Jewish neighbourhoods of the city, called Galata.

 

The lovely ebony bimah and aron kodesh was donated by the Carlman family in 1904. With its 400 people capacity, the synagogue has the Azara as 2 balconies. The synagogue is still an active synagogue and it is open for visits and also prayers.

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Ahrida Synagogue

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In Balat neighbourhood, where the Jewish families were brought from Spain during the expulsion in 1492 the stands the oldest synagogue in the city. Ahrida Synagogue is known to be built in 15th century by the families from Ohrid (Macedonia).

 

During centuries suffering terrible fires the present building goes back to 5641 (1881). It's Tevah in an arch shape, symbolizing Noah's arch. Like most of the synagogues in Istanbul the Ahrida Synagogue is in Sephardic style.

Neve Shalom Synagogue

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The Neve Shalom is the main synagogue of the Jewish community of Istanbul and is located in Galata.

 

Due to the need for a larger synagogue the Neve Shalom Synagogue was built in 1950 and besides the regular prayers it is commonly being used for Bar Mitzva, Brit Mila, wedding ceremonies, funerals etc.

 

Neve Shalom synagogue also holds the prayers in Sephardic tradition and it is open for visits and prayers.

Etz Ahayim Synagogue

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In the Ortakoy district, which is very close to the Ulus neighbourhood where most of the Jewish families today lives in Istanbul is one of the most active synagogues in Istanbul: Etz Ahayim Synagogue.

 

According to an edict in 1703 that there was an Etz Ahayim Synagogue in the same area. In 1945 during Yom Kipur by a fire started from one of the oil lamps the 19th century Ehal, Torah scrolls and the carpets were saved. The synagogue has 3 Midrash (2 Sephardic, 1 Ashkenazi) and at the entrance of the Ashkenazi Midrash there is a plate honoring Ribi Naftali be Isaac ha- Kohen Katz.

Beth Yaakov Synagogue

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Beth Yaakov Synagogue is located in Kuzguncuk, which is a lovely neighbourhood on the Asian Side of Istanbul. The synagogue was built in 1878.

 

The ceiling is adorned with beautiful scenes from Torah. Including the Azara the Beth Yaakov Synagogue has capacity up to 260 people. This synagogue is know with its traditional Sukkot celebrations and has wonderful relationships with the non-Jewish people in the neighbourhood.

Zulfaris Synagogue

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The Zulfaris Synagogue is located in the Galata district. Through an edict we know that the history of this synagogue goes back to 1645. However the building was re-erected from the original foundations in the early 19th century.

 

In 1992, which is 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Sephardic Jewish from Spain the synagogue was inaugurated as the Jewish Museum Istanbul. At the Jewish Museum you will see traces from the Jewish history of Turkey.

For more information about our private Jewish tours in

Istanbul please contact us.

© Examplar Travel Services 2016 | Anna & Isak Eskinazi Ltd. |

Nisantasi Ihlamuryolu Guney Ap. No: 83 D: 3 34365 Sisli Istanbul | Designed by Umit Yildirim

© Examplar Travel Services 2016 | Anna & Isak Eskinazi Ltd. |

Nisantasi Ihlamuryolu Guney Ap. No: 83 D: 3 34365 Sisli Istanbul | Designed by Umit Yildirim

© Examplar Travel Services 2016 |

Anna & Isak Eskinazi Ltd. |

Nisantasi Ihlamuryolu Guney Ap. No: 83 D: 3

34365 Sisli Istanbul | Designed by Umit Yildirim

© Examplar Travel Services 2016 |

Anna & Isak Eskinazi Ltd. |

Nisantasi Ihlamuryolu Guney Ap. No: 83 D: 3

34365 Sisli Istanbul | Designed by Umit Yildirim