Two Jewish Group Leaders Lacking in Antakya, Turkish Metropolis Devastated by Earthquakes

initially sounding the all-clear within the hours after a devastating earthquake on Monday, the Turkish Jewish group now says that two distinguished members stay lacking in Antakya, a metropolis close to the Turkish-Syrian border with a protracted Jewish historical past.

The chief of the Jewish group of Antakya, Saul Cenudioğlu, and his spouse Fortuna have been lacking since their residence constructing collapsed within the first of two quakes on Monday morning, in response to Cenudioğlu’s niece Ela.

Ela Cenudioğlu described her uncle as “a visionary chief dedicated to the Jewish group and the values it represents.” She mentioned he had, since his beginning in 1941, lived in Antakya, the place the household operated a textile enterprise.

Saul “did the whole lot in his capability to have the small Jewish group of Antakya thrive and join with the remainder of the communities in Turkey and the world,” she informed the Jewish Telegraphic Company. “I deeply hope that he and his spouse (who has all the time been a mom to me) come out of this safely, for all I want is to see his form smile and hug him once more.”

A grim toll is continuous to mount in Turkey, the place the official loss of life toll has already exceeded 5,000 and the WHO warns it may surpass 20,000. Greater than 1,200 buildings have been destroyed in Antakya’s province alone and over 6,000 are estimated to have been destroyed throughout southern Turkey, and rescue groups are racing towards time to establish individuals who is likely to be buried alive beneath the rubble.

Saul’s brother, Azur Cenudioğlu, was in Antakya through the quake however managed to get out safely, in response to Ynet. About his brother and sister-in-law, he mentioned, “I’m going again there to search for them and concern I could not discover them alive.”

Antakya’s 100-year-old synagogue was additionally closely broken. Video circulated on social media displaying group members retrieving Torah scrolls that gave the impression to be broken.

Jews have been current within the metropolis, identified all through antiquity as Antioch, for millennia, since its founding beneath the Seleucid empire. The town was ruled by Antiochus (the villain behind the story of Hanukkah) is ceaselessly talked about within the Talmud and was a serious middle of Jewish scholarship in historical occasions. As soon as carefully related to the bigger Jewish group of neighboring Aleppo, the town’s Jewish inhabitants had dwindled to simply 14 lately.

Now, Turkish Jews say, it’s unlikely that any will stay.

“The top of a 2500-year-old love story,” the Turkish Jewish Group’s president, Ishak Ibrahimzade wrote on Twitter.

“Together with our historic Antakya Synagogue, 2500 years of Jewish life got here to an finish with this nice ache,” the Turkish Jewish group tweeted with an image of the synagogue’s Torah scrolls being faraway from a severely broken room.

Israeli support employees from a wide range of organizations have landed in Turkey and plan to help in search, rescue and restoration within the devastated southeastern portion of the nation. Many anticipate to be within the area for weeks to return.

“We’re headed to Gaziantep with emergency aid provides together with water filters, water filtration techniques, hygiene kits, psychological well being and resilience kits,” IsraAid’s spokesperson informed JTA. “Within the first two weeks we’ll assess the wants on the bottom, and discover a wider vary, long term response.”

A direct concern is offering secure shelter for individuals who have been displaced by the quakes.

“We wakened at 4 a.m. and the home was shaking,” Azur informed Ynet. “We left in our pajamas and slippers and have been unable to take something with us. Our prayer shawls and tefillin are all buried beneath the rubble and we’re left with nothing.”