Istanbul, Turkey

The Jewish population in Turkey is founded mainly in the cities of Istanbul and Izmir. Considered nice-sized communities by any standard, they enjoy a population of 23,000 Sephardim and 2,000 Ashkenazim. Described as strong and close-knit, there was in need for additional Jewish communal resources, especially in Izmir. With an existing presence of a Chief Rabbinate, the communities were in need of additional mohelim and support in their Jewish educational systems.

The SSC trained and dispatched both Rabbi Perez and Rabbi Alalouf to serve the communities. Rabbi Perez is a member of the Rabbinate, heads a synagogue, teaches at the Jewish School, is a sofer, and a shochet. The result is an increased level of learning and greater observance of kashrut. Due to the greater availability of kosher items more of the Jewish Community now observe kashrut.

There is a tremendous need for more educators and educational programs. This is a large community with many students and a vast potential for Jewish growth.