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Synagogues open on Sunday?

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Synagogues open on Sunday?


I am looking for a half day private/group tour of the Jewish quarter in Istanbul....ideally would love to see interior of a synagogue or 2. Traveling with our teenage girls and we are all interested in jewish history/culture. Any ideas?

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1. Re: Synagogues open on Sunday?

There are special arrangements that you need to make in advance to visit a synagogue in Istanbul. I believe most synagogues are not open on Saturday or Sunday for general tourists. This sight has some more specific information on synagogues in Istanbul. nursel.com/index.php/info-center/synagogues-…

Istanbul has a long and interesting history in terms of the Jewish faith. You might also find this site interesting. http://www.allaboutturkey.com/jews.htm

If you wish to arrange for a private tour, I would suggest that you contact the author of the previous URL. Burak operates an outstanding tour service and he can help you make all the arrangements necessary to complete your visit.

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2. Re: Synagogues open on Sunday?

I don't know about specific agencies offering tours, but I'd suggest you at least skim this document (turkeytravelplanner.com/resources/pdf/Jewish…) by Tom Brosnahan (Mr. Turky Travel Planner) so you can inform your guide of which sites you'd most like to see. Not all of your site visits will need to be part of a dedicated tour. We combined a visit to the Kariye Müzesi (Chora Church) with other area sites including a stroll past the Ahrida Synagogue before hopping a ferry to the Eyüp mosque. (Since we hadn't contacted the Chief Rabbinate before hand, we couldn't go inside.) Brosnahan's site gives you directions for walking from the church to the synagogue. My husband and I did feel a bit uncertain of our direction occasionally in the winding streets, but the area is quite safe and fascinating for wandering. The day, which included glimpses of Istanbul's Muslim, Christian, and Jewish heritage buildings, was a perfect reflection of the city's complexity.

Edited: 11 May 2011, 18:09
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3. Re: Synagogues open on Sunday?


You can not visit the synagogues in Istanbul during the weekends or during Jewish religious holidays. In order to visit a synagogue there are certain procedures: you have to contact with the Chief Rabbinate and ask for a permission providing them your planned visit date and which synagogues you want to visit, passport copies, address & contact details, hotel name in Istanbul, etc. Then they give you an appointment for the synagogue/s you want.

Note that some of the synagogues are hard to find, such as Beth Israel in Şişli or Ahrida at Balat, you need a good map/directions or a guide with you. Meanwhile Neve Shalom is easy to find (at Galata).


4. Re: Synagogues open on Sunday?

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