Over the weekend, the mayor of Beşiktaş, a district in Istanbul along the Bosphorus, officiated a wedding inside the city’s Neve Shalom Synagogue. According to the Daily Sabah, an English-language newspaper published in Turkey, where an estimated 20,000 Jews reside, the wedding marks the first time a Jewish wedding ceremony has been been conducted by a local official. İshak İbrahimzadeh, the head of Turkey’s Jewish community,” called the ceremony a “landmark” event on Twitter.
The wedding occurred two days before a blast from a suicide bomber rocked the center of the city, killing 10 people and injuring 15 more, as of this publishing. The Neve Shalom Synagogue is located about 4 kilometers away; in 2003, trucks bombs struck the temple on Shabbat.
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.