Tag Archive for synagogue

Druze firefighter jumps to save Torah scroll from burning synagogue

Israeli Druze firefighter puts himself in danger by jumping into flames of burning synagogue in northern Israel to save a Torah scroll from burning.

By Chana Roberts


Druze firefighter Wiam Nevoani saved a Torah scroll from a burning synagogue on Monday, endangering his life.

Nevoani, a resident of the Druze village of Julis in northern Israel, told Channel 20 about the experience.

Druze firefighter Wiam Nevoani saving a Torah scroll from a burning synagogue. – Photo: Facebook page of כבאות והצלה לישראל Israel Fire & Rescue Authority

“On Monday we were called to fight a fire in a Nahariya synagogue,” Nevoani said. Continue Reading »

Sydney Court Rejects Community’s Plans To Build Synagogue Over ‘Security Concerns’

“The decision is unprecedented,” said Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, “It basically implies that no Jewish organization should be allowed to exist in residential areas. It stands to stifle Jewish existence and activity in Sydney… and by extension, rewarding terrorism.”



A court’s decision to refuse an application to build a new synagogue in Sydney, Australia, due to security concerns, came as a “surprise and shock,” the Chabad rabbi of the Bondi Beach community said in a statement Wednesday.

Bondi Beach, Sydney Australia – Photo: Athena Lao/Wikimedia

The Land and Environment Court ruled on Wednesday against an appeal by Chabad group, Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, against Waverley Council’s refusal of plans to demolish tennis courts to construct a new synagogue due to security concerns. Continue Reading »

Israel’s Embassy in Cairo thanks Egypt for restoring ancient synagogue


Israel’s Army Radio reported on Tuesday that Israel thanked the Egyptian government in a statement from its Egyptian Embassy, for its decision to renovate the 160 yr-old synagogue in Alexandria.

By Ben Ariel


Israel has thanked the Egyptian government for its decision to renovate the ancient synagogue in Alexandria, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.

According to the radio station, the Israeli embassy in Cairo issued a statement saying that Israel appreciates the decision, which is an expression of interest in minorities.

The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, located in Nabi Daniel Street, in Alexandria, Egypt. Photo: Moshirah-Wikimedia

Last week, the Egyptian government announced it approved a $22 million plan to restore the 160-year-old Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria. Continue Reading »

Turkish synagogue built in 1492 hosts first Jewish wedding in over 40 years

Built in 1492, the world’s 3rd-largest synagogue had tightened security for its 3,000 guests attending its first Jewish wedding, in 41 years.

By i24news


A historic synagogue in northwest Turkey was host to a Jewish wedding, its first in 41 years, on Sunday, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Edirne Synagogue, Turkey

The recently renovated synagogue in Edirne was built in 1492 for Jews seeking refuge in the Ottoman Empire and is the third-largest in the world.

The event prompted tight security, with surrounding roads being closed and searches of guests. The synagogue also has a metal detector installed at the entrance. Continue Reading »

Jewish pilgrimage to Ghriba synagogue in Tunisia under tight security

Hundreds of Jewish pilgrims expected at 2-day religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba, despite Israel’s security warning of ‘concrete terror threats’.

By i24news


The Jewish pilgrimage to Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba is to take place Wednesday under extra security after the Bardo museum massacre and Israel’s warning of terror threats.

An employee cleans an engraved Star of David at the Ghriba Synagogue on May 5, 2015 on the eve of the annual Jewish pilgrimage to the synagogue on the Mediterranean resort island of Djerba – Photo: Fethi Belaid/AFP

Hundreds are expected to take part, unlike the thousands who flocked to Africa’s oldest synagogue for the annual pilgrimage in the years before a 2002 suicide bombing claimed by al-Qaida that cost 21 lives. Continue Reading »

Turkish governor threatens to discontinue Jewish prayer after synagogue completes renovation

Governor of Turkish city Edirne threatened to turn synagogue into museum after renovations, saying it was unfair for Turkey to fund Jewish place of worship if Israel was denying Muslims access to their holy sites in Jerusalem.



The governor of the Turkish city Edirne was under pressure on Saturday, after allegedly saying local Jews would not be able to use a synagogue there because of Israel’s actions at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

The historical Büyük Synagogue

The historical Büyük Synagogue – Screenshot from hurriyetdailynews.com

The 100-year-old synagogue is undergoing renovations and when completed “will only serve as a museum” Edirne Governor Dursun Sahin was quoted by local media as saying on Friday.

Continue Reading »

New luxury hotel built on 15th century Spanish synagogue opens new shul

The 600 yr-old synagogue was unearthed during the construction of a new 5-star hotel, which was opened last year.

The Hotel will also house a cultural center offering an overview of Jewish history in Spain.




A Spanish hotel built on the remains of a 15th century synagogue opened a new synagogue on its seventh floor last week.

Synagogue in Spain, illustration

The western wall of the Synagogue of Córdoba, Spain. – Photo courtesy: Wikipedia Commons

The opening at the four-star Parador de Lorca hotel in Lorca, a city in the southeastern region of Murcia, was the result of negotiations between management and the Sefarad Beitenu Jewish association, which will run the shul, according to a report in the Murcia Economia newspaper. Continue Reading »

Fire destroys part of Belarus’ oldest functioning Synagogue

No one injured as fire consumes dining room & part of 2nd floor of Grodno’s 500 yr-old Great Choral Synagogue.




One of Europe’s oldest functioning synagogues sustained heavy damage in a fire that broke out in the city of Grodno in Belarus.

Fire raging at the Great Choral Synagogue in Grodno, Belarus.

Fire raging at the Great Choral Synagogue in Grodno, Belarus – Screenshot from ONT Channel report.

The flames erupted Tuesday night as a result of malfunctioning heating system and consumed the dining room and part of the second floor of Grodno’s Great Choral Synagogue, according to a report Wednesday by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Continue Reading »

After 22 years of restoration, Czech village synagogue opens

More than 100 people were at the village of Ckyne to attend the ceremony rededicating the rare shul after its 22-year restoration process.




The synagogue in the southern Czech Republic village of Ckyne has been rededicated after a restoration process that took more than 22 years.

Former synagogue in the municipality of Ckyne, Prachatice District, Czech Republic, under reconstruc

Former synagogue in the municipality of Ckyne, Prachatice District, Czech Republic, under reconstruction in 2011. – Photo: Wikipedia Commons

More than 100 people attended the ceremony Saturday that included a religious service led by the cantor of the synagogue in the nearby Czech city of Liberec.

A Torah scroll found in the synagogue’s attic during the restoration was used in the service. Continue Reading »

Beth Shalom in Surabaya, Java’s one and only synagogue, demolished

‘It was designated a heritage site by the Surabaya Heritage Society in 2009. It should’ve been protected,’ the director said.



The last vestige of one Indonesia’s oldest and largest Jewish communities is now just a pile of rubble.

A view of the synagogue in Surabaya before it was demolished. - JG Photo/Christyandi Tri Syandi

A view of the synagogue in Surabaya before it was demolished. – JG Photo/Christyandi Tri Syandi

Beth Shalom in Surabaya — Java’s one and only synagogue — was demolished in May after being sealed off by Islamic hard-liners in 2009.

“It’s not clear when exactly it was demolished and who did it,” Freddy Istanto, the director of the Surabaya Heritage Society (SHS), told the Jakarta Globe. Continue Reading »

Female IDF soldier recites blessings over Torah in IDF synagogue


For the 1st time on a Simchat Torah holiday in an IDF synagogue, a Female soldier was called to recite blessings over Torah portion.

Will this be the beginning of a new tradition in the IDF?

By Yehuda Shlezinger


A religiously observant female soldier was called to the Torah last week during Simchat Torah services, setting a precedent for the IDF. The soldier received what is known as an aliyah to the Torah, during which she recited a blessing over a Torah portion — a custom that is typically reserved for men in mainstream Orthodox synagogues. The incident sparked a firestorm on a base where many Orthodox soldiers were serving.

Continue Reading »

French town unveils Torah scroll from 1592 & other Jewish treasures

The French town Dambach-la-Ville unveiled dozens of Judaica items hidden before the Holocaust & discovered during the renovation of a former synagogue.



A town near Strasbourg unveiled dozens of Judaica items hidden before the Holocaust and discovered during the renovation of a former synagogue.

Jean-Camille Bloch showing the ceiling of the old synagogue in Dambach-la-Ville, that became theater  The discovery   was up there. - Photo Jean-Marc Loos

Jean-Camille Bloch showing the ceiling of the old synagogue in Dambach-la-Ville, that became theater, “The discovery was up there.” – Photo: Jean-Marc Loos/L’Alsace

The recently discovered items were presented to the public on Sunday. They had been hidden at what is now the new cultural center of Dambach-la-Ville, a town of 2,000 in eastern France, the L’Alsace daily reported Saturday.

Continue Reading »

Synagogues on wheels goes deep into Russia

Known in Russia as ‘mitzvah tanks’, traveling synagogues make house calls to homes of Jews who are unable leave home for medical reasons.



Jewish activists have taken three synagogues on wheels on a journey into Siberia and central Russia.

A Mitzvah Tank at the entrance of the Moscow Jewish community center, June 2013.

A Mitzvah Tank at the entrance of the Moscow Jewish community center, Chabad Lubavitch, June 2013. – Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

The activists, among them sons of emissaries to Russia for the Chabad movement, are driving three camper vehicles into the Russian outback along three different routes that will take them through dozens of cities over the next three weeks, according to the official website of the Chabad movement. Continue Reading »

Hundreds Participate in Annual Pilgrimage to Africa’s Oldest Synagogue

Jewish worshippers completed the annual pilgrimage to the El Ghriba Synagogue, Africa’s oldest, amid heightened security.

By Arutz Sheva staff


Hundreds of Jewish worshippers on Sunday completed an annual pilgrimage to Ghriba, Africa’s oldest synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, where security was high to prevent any violence.

Jews pray inside the El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba – Reuters

Organizers expressed satisfaction at the number of pilgrims, including Israelis who flew in from Europe, who took part in the ritual which had been scrapped in 2011, when a massive uprising toppled the regime of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the AFP news agency reported. Continue Reading »

Synagogue near Auschwitz may Collapse

The head of the Jewish center in nearby Oswiecim reports that the only shul near the former Nazi death camp may give way if sloping ground beneath it isn’t reinforced.

Associated Press


An official says the only synagogue near the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz may crumble if the sloping ground it stands on is not reinforced soon.

Entrance to Auschwitz death camp Photo: AFP

Entrance to Auschwitz death camp – Photo: AFP

The Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue is the only one still in existence in Oswiecim, the southern city where Nazi Germans ran the Auschwitz camp during World War II. It was rededicated in 2000 to try to rekindle the Jewish life that was vibrant in the city before the war. Continue Reading »