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An Ottoman Odyssey: A Rabbi Rediscovers Turkey’s Jews, Past and Present

Istanbul’s Rabbi Mendy Chitrik tweets his three-week trek across centuries of Jewish life

August 16, 2021 1:44 PM
Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, left, rabbi of Istanbul’s Ashkenazic community and chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States, accompanied on his journey through Turkey by his 18-year-old son, Chaim, a student at the Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical college in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, left, rabbi of Istanbul’s Ashkenazic community and chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States, accompanied on his journey through Turkey by his 18-year-old son, Chaim, a student at the Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical college in Los Angeles.

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4 Comments
Laura-Lee Fineman Karp Seattle August 24, 2021

This is an outstanding and fascinating article. As it happens, I have become close friends with a Turkish family who have emigrated to the U.S. We have learned a great deal about each other's culture, customs, and holidays. This friendship led me to visit Turkey two years ago. Although I was in Izmir, I had no idea that there was a Jewish community there. I expect to be in Ankara next summer to attend a wedding in the family. I expect to connect with Jews, now that I know where they are to be found. Reply

Alex נתן Golding Boston August 18, 2021

This is such a great article recapping that amazing journey! I loved reading about all of the different communities and old Jewish sites. It is important to connect with Jews all over the world, thank you for doing this and recording your journey so that we could all feel connected to the region. Reply

Felipe Zamudio August 18, 2021

Que historia tan maravillosa la del Pueblo de Israel, ha caminado por toda el planeta y asimilado muchas culturas y a la vez dejado su huella en casi todas, H-shem bendiga al Pueblo de Israel con Paz y Prosperidad, saludos. Reply

Albert Palombo Cape Town August 18, 2021

Can any one tell me how I could trace the descendants of Rabbi Eliahu Palombo , Chief Rabbi of the Ottoman empire from Approx 1800 ? Reply

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