U.nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art
We are in front of the synagogue of the Italian Jews of Jerusalem; a unique site that has undergone many changes over the course of its history.
The building was erected in 1887 by the German Catholic community as a pilgrim hospice and a school for Syrian girls. The hospice was planned traditionally with the façade decorated with pointed arches in the neo-Gothic style. It had large guest rooms, and a beautiful chapel on the ground floor adorned with ceiling murals depicting scenes from the Old and New Testament.
One detail, however, was overlooked – its distance from the Old City. It soon became clear that the pilgrims would have a long walk to reach the Old City with its holy sites, and the hospice was soon replaced by a closer one built near the Damascus Gate.
Over time, the building’s function changed, and it was used as a Jewish elementary school.
After the establishment of the State of Israel, Italian Jews began to use the second floor of the building for prayers, and in 1952, the interior of the ancient synagogue of Conegliano, a town near Venice, was brought here. This synagogue was founded in 1701; however at the end of the 19th century, when the last Jews left the town, it fell into disuse. After many years of neglect, the complete interior was brought to Jerusalem where it is used actively until today.
And so, Jerusalem gained this magnificent Italian synagogue, which is situated in a house built for Catholic pilgrims.
The services are according to the Roman or Italian rite, one of the most ancient in Judaism, which many see as the continuation of the Ancient Israelite tradition.
The Museum of Italian Jewish Art is also housed here. You are cordially invited to experience Jewish Italy of Renaissance and Baroque through the magnificent examples of Italian Judaica. There is an entrance fee.
The museum is open:
|Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday
10 am - 5 pm
12 pm – 9 pm
Friday 10 am - 1 pm
to visit the U.nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art Website.