Heritage Conservation

Reconstruction of the Ancient Synagogues in Israel

Ancient Synagogues:
Local and Global Historical Significance

Israel’s historical and archaeological sites are treasures that are hundreds if not thousands of years old and are the foundation of our culture. We consider these heritage sites supremely important assets. Any decision about a change to these sites impacts generations to come because these are where Israelis and their guests from abroad come to learn the history and culture of the land.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority strictly protects the archaeological heritage sites in its national parks and nature reserves in keeping with professional ethics and international conventions. It also works to preserve the “arena of the story” – the landscapes around these heritage sites – as well as the connection between the sites and their surroundings. The national parks and nature reserves open their gates for surveys and research by professional archaeologists, who excavate and uncover fascinating finds and ancient synagogues. The INPA’s division of archaeology and heritage supervises these ancient sites, works to protect the finds and makes sure they are properly displayed.

Ancient synagogues are a window onto the past, allowing us to connect more deeply to our roots and understand the history, tradition and culture of Jewish communities of the distant past. There are hundreds of ancient synagogues throughout Israel. Some are in precarious condition and some are in ruin. It is important to reconstruct them and preserve them for future generations.

Help us preserve our treasures of the past for ourselves and for future generations

The En Gedi Synagogue

In the early 1970s a well-preserved synagogue was discovered in the area of the ancient village of En Gedi. This small structure knew two periods: one at the beginning of the third century CE and one at the end of that century.

The Synagogue at Caesarea

North of the Muslim-Crusader city of Caesarea, in the area of the Roman city within Caesarea National Park, remains were discovered of the important synagogue of ancient Caesarea.

The Hamat Tiberias Synagogue

This synagogue, situated in Hamat Tiberias National Park, was first discovered in 1920. A stone, seven-branched candelabrum found there is now on display in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

The Arbel Synagogue

The Arbel Synagogue is located west of Moshav Arbel, in the center of the extensive Arbel ruins. During the Second Temple period Arbel was an important city inhabited by sages and members of priestly families.

The Bar‘am Synagogue

The ancient synagogue at Kfar Bar‘am is built of large, beautifully dressed stones. It is located near the Lebanese border between Kibbutz Sasa and Moshav Dovev.

Korazim Synagogue

The synagogue at Korazim and the Jewish village that was excavated around it are a unique and fascinating complex that takes visitors back 1,500 years. Korazim illustrates the daily life of the Jews in the Galilee during the period of the Mishnah and the Talmud.

The Synagogue at Sepphoris

Sepphoris (Tsippori) was the largest and most important city in the Galilee during the Roman and Byzantine periods. The synagogue of Sepphoris was built in the fifth or early sixth century CE.

The Synagogue at Masada

The synagogue at Masada is one of the oldest synagogues in the world. It was in use when the Second Temple still stood, as well as for a short time after its destruction.

The Bet Alpha Synagogue

The Bet Alpha synagogue was built in the fifth century CE. Architecturally speaking its components are identical to those of churches from the Byzantine period: a courtyard, exedra, rectangular hall, second-story gallery and an additional room
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