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Turkish synagogue from 1890 damaged by earthquake

A Turkish synagogue from 1890 was one of many structures severely damaged by Monday's 7.8-magnitude earthquake. The synagogue served as a spiritual home to 28 local Jews in the community of Antakya.

Two of the Jewish residents of Antakya have still not yet been accounted for and are believed to be buried under the rubble, however, it is yet to be confirmed. Twelve residents who lost their homes in the quake were brought to Istanbul.

The region near Antakya has held a Jewish presence for some 2,500 years. With help from an Istanbul community of rabbis, the Torah scrolls – made of deer skin and inscribed with scriptures – were salvaged.

The town is unique in its history and served as the seat of power of the Seleucid Empire during the period of the Chanukah story. It also borders Syria, where a number of Arab Jews live alongside Muslims and Christians.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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