Religious Leaders Attend Rededication of Istanbul Shul Damaged by Terrorists

Neve Shalom, the Istanbul synagogue damaged in a terrorist attack last September 6 that killed 23 people, was formally rededicated last week at a large public ceremony attended by representatives of other religions.

Leaders of the city’s main mosques, the heads of the Christian churches and a Papal delegate watched Chief Rabbi Jacob Assaeo place Torah scrolls in the synagogue’s ark. Thousands of people who couldn’t enter the packed synagogue massed in the adjacent streets.

World Jewish Congress representative Serge Czweigenbaum, who attended the ceremony, reported that the Turkish Minister for Religious Affairs said the government is still searching for the terrorists and will do all it can to protect the synagogue and the Turkish Jewish community of 25,000.

Most of them live in Istanbul, with a small community in Izmir. The Turkish Jewish community is planning to celebrate its 500th anniversary in 1992. The community began with the massive arrivals of Spanish Jews driven out by the Inquisition in 1492.

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