Jewish Wedding in a Turkish Synagogue

When faced with the edicts of Expulsion in Castile and Aragon and eventually in Portugal, one of the principal regions that opened up to Iberian Jews seeking refuge was the Ottoman Empire. Jews sailed to a new life leaving behind more than a thousand years of Jewish history in the Iberian Peninsula.

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At their peak, cities like Salonika boasted majority Jewish populations or at least significant Jewish minorities to shape and influence every day life.

The vast Ottoman Empire became the site of various exiled Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities which included the land of Israel. Judeo-Spanish or Ladino was preserved and a Jewish community flourished for centuries. Demographic changes, the establishment of the State of Israel, and sadly changing attitudes towards Jews and Israel in Turkey have seen a sharp decline in the number of Jews in Turkey.

The following article shares a bright spot in the city of Edirne which is home to a restored synagogue and hosted a Sephardic wedding.

Jewish Wedding in Turkish Synagogue


Posted  Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education and author of What is Kosher?

About rambam442013 108 Articles
Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas where he earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. He studied at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland and received a Master of Arts Degree with Distinction in Judaic Studies. He completed his doctoral studies at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago in 2015. His doctoral dissertation is titled “Complex Identities: Christian and Jewish Attitudes Towards Conversos” and was accepted in September 2015. He also studied at the American Seminary for Contemporary Judaism and received rabbinic ordination in 2011 from Yeshiva Mesilat Yesharim.