Monday, March 30, 2015

A renewed "Synagogue" in Turkey, but where have all the Jews Gone?

Outside of a ruined synagogue in Edirne
One of the largest concentrations of Jews in Turkey before 1914 was the city of Edirne, in north-western Turkey. The seating capacity of the synagogue: 800 persons.

Along came the horrors of two wars and the forced removal of some families. The original 25,000 Jewish people gradually left, some to Istanbul, others to Israel, USA, France and Canada.

Under the present government's attempt to improve relations with "minority groups", the building was restored to it's previous splendor and the opening day of prayers witnessed hundreds of Jews come for prayers.

Derelict synagogue before rebuilding in Edirne, Turkey
But, there are now no Jewish families left in Edirne so,  was the restoration of this building simply "window dressing" to say to the world, "Look at how well we treat minorities?"

When will Jewish families feel safe enough in Turkey to return in numbers large enough to have regular services in this wonderful, old building? The 20 pictures of the opening worship service are found here.

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