The Quincentennial Foundation
1992 marked the five hundredth anniversary of this most gracious welcome of Sephardim to Turkish lands. Turkish Jews felt it was both fitting and proper to launch an extensive celebration in Turkey, in the United States and in Europe.
Jewish history is full of sad events which are marked by commemorations and memorial services. But now there was a major event to celebrate, both the 500th anniversary of the welcoming of the Sephardic Jews to the Ottoman Empire and the five centuries of continuous and peaceful life in Turkey.
The Quincentennial Foundation was established in 1989 by a group of 113 Turkish citizens, Jews and Muslims alike. Founded and headquartered in Istanbul, the Quincentennial Foundation planned a three-year (1990 - 1992) cultural and academic program both within Turkey and abroad - mainly in the U.S, Canada and Mexico on the American continent; France, the United Kingdom and different countries in Europe.
The Foundation embarked on a very ambitious program as befit the greatness of the occasion. What Turkish Jews lack in numbers they make up in enthusiasm and commitment and they forwarded their vision with great excitement.
That program had been designed to bring the diverse and rich legacy of Turkish Jewry to a greater audience.