The Neve Shalom Synagogue The Neve Shalom synagogue, meaning "Oasis of Peace" in Hebrew, was built in response to an increase in the Jewish population in the old Galata neighborhood (now part of Beyoğlu) during the late 1930s. Toward the end of 1937, Keneset and Zülfaris Synagogues in Galata and Beyoglu districts could not meet the religious needs for the rapidly growing Jewish population within their area. For holidays like Pesach (Passover), Rosh Hashanah, and especially Yom Kippur different venues were rented out as temporary places for services. Later, as the Jewish population keep growing in Beyoglu, services were moved to a space in the First Coed Jewish Primary School. In 1948, it was decided that a synagogue should be built on the same land where this school was located. Elyo Ventura and Bernar Motola both graduated from Istanbul Technical University with degrees in civil engineering and asked if they could participate in planning for what would become known as "the Great Synagogue." Six months later, their plan won unanimous approval from community leaders. On Sunday 25 March 1951, the synagogue opened its doors with a ceremony that began with the prayer Baruch Haba by İzak Macoro and lead by Rav Rafael Saban, the community leaders of the period.