The only synagogue in Izmir whose name identifies from what country its founders immigrated is the Portuguese Synagogue. It is presumed that this synagogue was founded by the Jews of Portuguese origin who immigrated from North Africa and Venice in 1569. It is one of the six synagogues known to have existed in the period of Chief Rabbi Joseph Escapa, i.e. in the 1620s, and is referred to as the largest synagogue in Izmir in that period.
Portuguese Synagogue had a significant role in the events experienced upon Sabbatai Sevi’s return to Izmir in 1665. Considered to be the fortress of the anti-Sabbatai-ists, this synagogue closed its gates to Sabbatai Sevi when the Sabbatiai-ist movement expanded.
On the other hand, Sabbatai and his supporters enter the synagogue by breaking the Gates and chase away the rabbis who are the leaders of their opponents. Salomon Algazi, who is one of the founders of Algazi Synagogue, is among them. Sabbatai Sevi declares himself the Messiah of the Jews and 18th June 1666 the deliverance day in that raid. Portuguese Synagogue becomes the headquarters of the Sabbatai-ist movement and a large group of the Jews of Izmir join in the movement. The fact is reported to the Sultan when people come from different parts of the world to Izmir and join in the Sabbatai-ist movement and the atmosphere of revolt in Izmir is broken up once Sabbatai is called to the palace.
Portuguese Synagogue was burnt in 1976 and is in a completely ruined state except its front wall. The synagogue building serves today as EGIAD Social and Cultural Center. It is located near the Havra (Synagogue) Street.