THE IZMIR JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HAS PREPARED SOME REGULATIONS FOR VISITS TO THE HISTORICAL SYNAGOGS AND SOME OTHER MAJOR PLACES. THEY HAVE AUTHORISED “EBRULI TOURISM” BOTH FOR DOMESTIC VISITORS AND INCOMING VISITORS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.
Tel: 0090 (232) 463 60 43 / 464 07 18
THE HISTORY OF THE IZMIR JEWISH COMMUNITY
The Jewish people has had a significant role in the history of Izmir, as a community having enriched the urban life of the city both with their cultures, traditions and life styles. The Jewish people who used to be much more than today especially in the Ottoman Empire period, and has always had an important role in the trade, are still significant for Izmir despite the fact that their number has decreased in our day. In fact, the historical values are of great importance for the urban life and history of Izmir. This part of the study is about the historical background, cultures, life styles and works of these people, in more widely used saying, the Jewish Community.
The first Jewish community in Izmir was observed in the 4th Century, BC, in the period of the Great Alexander who was the famous Macedonian Emperor and probably was brought to the region by the Great Alexander to live in the area.
HISTORICAL SYNAGOGUES OF IZMIR
The synagogues in Izmir basically express regional characteristics. People enter the main area of prayer through the Midrash and the Ehal has a triple structure. On both sides of the Ehal (bookcase of holy books) which is situated in the middle of the Eastern Wall, there are built-in-closets made in the same style, and they all contain holy books.
Another characteristic of the synagogues in Izmir is that they were built in central plan. The Teva (stand) is situated in the center of four columns which support the ceiling of the synagogue, and divides the ceiling and the synagogue into 9 sections. In later periods, the central plan was changed with double Teva structure which was placed in the sides of the Ehal.
The Rabbinate, Cortigos, Gurcesme Jewish Cemetery, Sabbetai Sevi’s House and the Historical Elevator are other places available to visit within the Jewish Heritage in Izmir.