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Istanbul synagogue visit?

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So we have taken a deep breath and decided to go ahead with our long-planned trip to Turkey, and will be in Istanbul from Sept. 4 – 8. We have been to Istanbul before, but there are still so many things left to do/see, one of which is I would like to visit at least one synagogue.

I have done some homework and understand that we will need to make advance arrangements for security reasons, which is fine. But which synagogue is likely to be of greatest historical/architectural interest? I am a quite secular Ashkenazi person, and am most interested in what I am least familiar with, i.e. the Sephardic world. My husband will pretty much go along with whatever I want to do on this one (and as he is from a family of Protestant missionaries, I don’t know that he’s ever set foot in a synagogue of any kind anyway). And we are now being joined by an Indian friend from Dubai, who I suspect will feel much the same.

Which synagogue(s) will be of greatest interest? Is there anything else we should know? My boss mentioned men and women might be separated, even for a tour? (I figured that would be the case for services, but I don’t think we want to attend a service.) And are we likely to experience difficulty given that the birthplace on my husband’s passport is Beirut, WASP though he is? Thanks in advance for any guidance.

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