Etz Ahayim Synagogue is located in the Ortakoy neighborhood of Istanbul near the Bosphorus Bridge. Etz Ahayim means “the tree of life,” which we encounter in Roman and Ottoman traditions. After the great fire in 1660 and 1718 in Istanbul’s city center, some Jewish communities moved to Ortakoy, which was the countryside of Istanbul.
The synagogue was built in the 18th century. In 1941, because of a fire that started with a candle, the synagogue was almost completely burnt, and only a Torah cabinet which was donated by the family Kamondo survived. After the neighborhood became crowded, the synagogue was expanded and enlarged in 1994.
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