Jews in Turkey Worried over Order Dissolving Community Councils

Jewish communal leaders expressed concern here today over a new Government regulation ordering the dissolution of all communal councils in Istanbul. According to the ruling, each synagogue, Jewish social and charitable institution and cemetery will have to have an independent administrative council.

Before the introduction of the new ruling, Jewish religious and social activities were directed by communal councils in each quarter and coordinated by the lay council of the Grand Rabbinate. The Jewish hospital, orphanage, home for the aged and similar welfare institutions were grouped under a single coordinating committee which handled all fund-raising activities. The new order dissolves both the lay council and the coordinating committee and decentralizes all religious, social, charitable and cultural activities in the community.

Jewish communal leaders fear that the new regulation might lead to the dissolution of many of the necessary institutions which cannot exist independently. The same order has been applied by the Ministry of Interior to the Greek and Armenian communities in Turkey.

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