The Sephardic Jews have been living in the city for over 500 ears. They supported Ottoman Government much by introducing new ideas, methods and craftsmanship. The first Gutenberg press in Istanbul had been established by Sephardic Jews in 1493. They excelled many fields, particularly medicine, trade and banking. More than 20.000 Sephardic Jews still have been living in Istanbul.
Today, There are 20 functional synagogues in the city. The biggest one is the Neve Shalom Synagogue was built in 1951 in the Beyoglu quarter. A decrease in the population of the Istanbul Jewish population occurred after the foundation of Israel in 1948. But the Turkish Jews who migrated to Israel helped to establish strong relationships between Turkey and Israel. The founders of Israel and prominent Israeli politicians like David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and Moshe Shertok had all studied in the leading Turkish schools of Istanbul namely Galatasaray High school and Istanbul University.