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Shai Cohen: “To be able to keep on the rituals in a historic synagogue is significant”

Abudaram (Parmakkapi) Synagogue in Hasköy, Istanbul was rented in 1960s to be used as a workshop as a result of the diminished number of inhabitants in the neighborhood. The historic synagogue reopened its doors on Sunday morning with prayers and songs, surviving decades of negligence. Community members attended the prayer service in the dilapidated building with joy, ahead of planned restoration efforts to restore to its former glory.
Among the crowd witnessing this emotional and historic day, was Shai Cohen, Consul General of Israel in Istanbul, shared his feelings with Şalom:

It is a very emotional event. It is very historic from this perspective. It is important to note the ability of the community to restore all properties like this one. It also shows the positive attitude of the authorities, restoring back properties of the minorities in Turkey in general, and of the Jewish community in particular. It is a very good sign for what can be achieved in terms of tolerance, and solidarity within society. From the point of view as an Israeli diplomat, it is very emotional. It has a lot of meanings to us, as the Israeli people. I hope it will be possible to restore the synagogue and to make it active. It is a very historic building. The meaning is very important; to be able to keep on the rituals in a five hundred years’ synagogue. This would be very significant.”

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