For the Moment, a Celebration of Coexistence in Turkey

In aftermath of the First World War, the once mighty Ottoman Empire was no more. In its place a Turkish state arose centered around what was once referred to as Asia Minor and a small sliver of the European coast which included the city of Istanbul. Turkey was home to thousands of Jews descended from the original exiles from Spain and Portugal or from the Conversos who escaped the Iberian Peninsula and journeyed eastward.

GrandSynagogueEdirne_(2)

Grand Synagogue Edirne By CeeGee Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

In the post-war period, the newly created state was markedly secular and once enjoyed strong ties to the State of Israel. The situation of course is vastly different today under the leadership of President Erdogan. The country has moved towards a much more Islamic expression in the public sphere and its relationship with Israel has been rocky to say the least.

The following article from the Jerusalem Post highlights a positive but seemingly rarer occurrence of interaction between Jews and Muslims which recalls past days where social interaction was more frequent and customary.

Jews and Muslims Celebrate Iftar


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.