AYDIN, capital city of Aydin province in western Turkey. Population (2004): 156,600. There was a Jewish community in Aydin (then called Tralles) from the Roman era until the Ottoman period. At the beginning of the 20th century the community numbered approximately 3,000. The community was led by a rabbi, who together with a number of its members formed a communal council. The community had three synagogues, a hospital, charitable institutions, a talmud torah, and a yeshivah. In 1894 an Alliance Israélite Universelle school for boys was founded and in 1904, one for girls. The Jews were primarily engaged in import and export trade. The community, however, gradually declined and virtually ceased to exist after World War I, mainly because of the Greek invasion of western Turkey. Some of the Jews moved to Smyrna (Izmir), others to Rhodes, and about 200 families to South America.
A. Galanté, Histoire des Juifs d'Anatolie, 2 (1939), 127–42; EIS2, 1 (1960), 782–3 (includes bibliography). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: P.R. Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor (1987).
[Abraham Haim / David Kushner (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.