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Turkish Jewish Genealogy Portal

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Turkish Jewish Notables



The Antakya Synagogue is located in Antakya, Turkey near the border with Syria. It serves a tiny community of about 60 Jews (as of 1996).

The building was erected in 1890. Because Antakya is north of Jerusalem, the synagogue is built with the Torah Ark on the southern wall in a semi-circular apse. (Joel A. Zack, Historic synagogues of Turkey, 2008, p. 188)

The rabbi lives in Istanbul - 1000 km away. Every Thursday afternoon, boards a bus for a 22 hour ride to Antakya to lead Shabat services and teach the kids. And on every Sunday, he returns to Istanbul. Source

Selahattin Ülkümen (14 January 1914 in Antakya – 7 July 2003 in Istanbul) was a Turkish diplomat and consul in Rhodes during the Second World War, who assisted many local Jews to escape the Holocaust. In 1989 Israel recognized him as among the Righteous Among the Nations and listed his name at Yad Vashem.