The Jews of Turkey, most of whom are descendants of Hebrews who found refuge there from the Spanish Inquisition, feel very insecure. Their schools and synagogues are behind defensive tunnels and protected by steel pillars against booby-trapped cars.
“The Jews in Turkey have been living in a state of fear for a long time , , ,” said Ohad Keiner, deputy consul general of Israel in Turkey. Lewis Fishman, an expert on Turkey at Brooklyn College in New York, saw the Turkish government’s indifference to acts of anti-Semitism. “It’s true that there is protection of the structures of the Jewish community, but the people who visit them are subjected to hate calls and threats,” he says.
This anti-Semitic phenomena in Turkey produced a wave of emigration of Jewish Turks to Israel. A sector of these Turkish Israelis have settled in the central town of Kfar Saba. Unfortunately, they found that the cost of living in Israel was so very much higher. The sprawling villa in Turkey changed to a small apartment in Kfar Saba, and many found themselves on the welfare roll. In Kfar Saba now at Israel’s Passover holiday, the welfare office worked on their social services roll of elderly Turkish immigrants to find a family to host them for the holiday meal.
“We are here for only two months, and already we understand that everywhere you go you have to prepare sandwiches ahead and bring water from home because buying them out is a privilege we cannot afford,” says a new immigrant from Turkey.
Israel Relief Aid has reached out to this Turkish community in Kfar Saba, providing them with needed new clothing from a recent aid container. These clothing items are distributed to all of the Turkish community in the city.