Istanbul synagogue window

Istanbul Jewish Genealogy Project

The Istanbul Jewish community holds close to 100 thousand records of genealogical insterest, including more than 35 thousand marriage records (Chief Rabbinate 1887-, Ashkenazi Community 1923-, Italian Congregation 1870s-) and 30 thousand burial records (Hemdat Israel 1899-, Italian burial list 1918-, Italian Şişli Cemetery 1800s-, Kuzguncuk Cemetery 1913-, Ortaköy Cemetery 1939-, Yuksekkaldirim Synagogue 1916-).

The Istanbul Jewish community provided access to these valuable genealogical so that we could type, index, microfilm, and catalogue them. In particular, Lina Filiba and Erdal Frayman worked relentlessly to find and copy the documents.

We thank the presidents of the particular Istanbul Jewish organizations that provided access to their records: the Ashkenazi Community, the Italian Community, the Kadiköy Community, the Kuzguncuk Community, and the Ortaköy Community. Above all, we thank the many volunteers who typed and proofed these records, and the donors who paid to have the records microfilmed and converted into digital images.

Consistent with privacy Turkish laws, these records are not publicly searchable. Instead, persons are invited to write to the Istanbul Chief Rabbinate’s Office to request a search of these records. Please contact: roots@musevicemaati.com. In your email message, provide this information:

1. Details on the person regarding whom you seek information: the person’s surname, given name, approximate year of birth, and names of parents or children.

2. An explanation of how you are related to this person.

Please allow one week for a response. In the early months of this new information system, requests may be quite numerous and therefore response time might be slightly slower than normal.

For a broad examination of Sephardic records, you may wish to examine the searchable databases at SephardicGen.

Daniel Kazez
Springfield, Ohio USA