Bensiyon Pinto, Honorary President of the Turkish Jewish community, passes away

Bensiyon Pinto, the first and only Honorary President of the Turkish Jewish Community, has passed away. He was 85 years old.

From his early years, Bensiyon Pinto dedicated his life to his family, friends, community, and country.

His involvement in the Turkish Jewish Community started in 1954 as a founding member of Yildirim Spor Kulubu (Yildirim Sports Club). In 1976, he became the head of the Finance Committee of the Turkish Jewish Community and then the Vice President of the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey from 1979 until 1984. After a break in active participation in the administrative body of Turkey’s Jewish Community, he assumed the role of the President of the Turkish Jewish Community in 1989. He served as the President of the Turkish Jewish Community for a total of 10 years in various periods from 1989 to 2003.


After completing his duty as the President of the Turkish Jewish Community, he was awarded the first and only title of ‘Honorary President of the Turkish Jewish Community’. Following his tenure, he wrote his memoirs in a book titled ‘My Life as a Turkish Jew’ published in 2008. His book which was written in Turkish has been translated into German and English.

Bensiyon Pinto, who had always played a great role in the continuity of social unity and solidarity in Turkey, was always in close and sincere relations with the people managing and directing Turkish politics. Throughout his life, Pinto had made it a principle for himself to carry out his works and studies in line with introducing the Republic of Turkey to the world in a correct way.

The funeral will be held on 16 January 2022 at 13.00 at Ulus Ashkenazi Jewish Cemetery in Istanbul. A condolence book has been opened at his personal website.

May his memory be a blessing.


Subscribe to the EJC newsletter

Get the EJC newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

browse by community