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First Chief Rabbi in Istanbul: Rabbi Moshe Capsali

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Rabbi 0shak Haleva (2002-Present)

In 1453, when the Turkish Sultan Mehmed II conquered Istanbul from the Byzantine Empire, he selected Rabbi Moshe to guide the affairs of all the Jews living in the vast Ottoman Empire, most of whom were Greek-speaking Jews known as Romaniotes. This was thirty-nine years prior to the Sephardim’s arrival in Turkey after the Spanish Expulsion of 1492.
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