Friday, September 9, 2011

The Ancient Synagogues of Jerusalem – Part 2
The Interiors. Ohel Yitzhak

Old City landscape in 1900. The domed buildings
were the Churva and Tifreret Yisrael synagogues
When the Jews returned to the Old City of Jerusalem after the June 1967 war, they were shocked to find the synagogues they left behind destroyed and in rubble.  Some of the synagogues were hundreds of years old and were prominent features of Jerusalem's landscape, as shown in these pages in a previous photo essay on synagogue exteriors

Today, we feature the interior of the Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue which was located in the Muslim Quarter (many Jews lived beyond the confines of the Jewish Quarter despite the supposed division of the Old City).
Interior of the synagogue (circa 1900)

Built in 1870 by Hungarian Jews, the synagogue was known as the Ungarin Shul, built inside the Shomrei HaChomos Kollel (Talmudic study center).  In 1904, a second story was added to the synagogue giving it a very prominent view of the Temple Mount 100 meters away. 

The Arab riots in 1920 and 1929 threatened the Jewish community in the Old City, and their ties to the synagogue and yeshiva in the building were severely disrupted.
The destroyed Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue

The riots and pogroms of the Arab Revolt in Palestine (1936-1939) forced the Jewish congregants to abandon the synagogue in 1938.  The Jordanian Legion captured the Old City in 1948, and the building was destroyed. 

Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue today

In 2008 the Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue was rebuilt and beautifully restored, under the sponsorship of the Moskowitz family of the United States.

Today, the synagogue is administered by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

Next in this series: The "Churva" Synagogue.


  1. Thanks for all your work . Really enjoying these photos.

  2. Agreed. I look forward to them every morning. Thank you!