Tag Archives: Synagogue

Mincha Prayer, Flea Market, Jaffa, Israel 2009

A group of local shopkeepers in Jaffa (the historic seaport just south of Tel Aviv) meet daily to form a minyan (a quorum of 10 men) so they can recite afternoon prayers.  

Tisha B’Av, Jerusalem, Israel 1997

Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, marks the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. This event happened almost 2,000 years ago, yet Jews around the world still mourn the loss every year on Tisha B’Av. And what better place to observe this day of mourning and fasting than at the …

The Wall, Jerusalem, Israel 2010

The Kotel Ha-Maaravi, or Western Wall, is considered the holiest spot for Jews today. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Kotel is the only part of the ancient Jewish Temple that remains standing. It was actually part of the retaining wall that held up the Temple Mount, on which the Temple stood. Today, …

Talmudist, Jerusalem, Israel 2009

A scholar studies a page of Talmud in a Jerusalem yeshiva. The Talmud is a compilation of discussions by the ancient rabbis of Babylonia, and serves as a basis for Jewish tradition and practice to this day.

Sunrise Shema, Sde Boker, Israel 2003

The people in this photograph are reciting morning prayers in the heart of the Negev Desert, just outside a kibbutz called Sde Boker. Sde Boker is where Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, chose to retire. His vision and hope was that Israelis would move to the Negev and make the barren land flourish. Over …

Renovation, New York City, NY, U.S.A., 1985

In this image artisans work to restore the stained glass windows in one of New York’s oldest and most majestic synagogues, the Eldridge St. Synagogue. The origins of the Kahal Adath Jeshurun congregation and their temple reflect the Lower-East Side neighborhood’s diverse group of immigrants in 1887: it was constructed by two Catholic brothers from …

Synagogue Soup Kitchen, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2002

A soup kitchen or comedor comunitario hosted by a Chabad synagogue in Buenos Aires, serves more than a hundred people with a hot meal every day. When this photograph of aid recipients waiting outside the synagogue’s entrance was taken in 2002, it was only a year after the country experienced a major financial collapse that …

Synagogue Key Keeper, Žiežmariai, Lithuania, 2003

Though the late 19th century synagogues in the cities of Central and Eastern Europe are breathtakingly beautiful, with Moorish towers, brightly colored abstract painting, and arches and colonnades that rival many cathedrals, the style certainly did not exist outside the walls of cosmopolitan cultural centers. This wooden synagogue was built in the mid-19th century in …

The New Hurva, Jerusalem, Israel, 2010

The Hurva synagogue now stands in the center of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, but its long and dramatic history serves as a reminder of the struggles for control over the city and its neighborhoods. The original synagogue on this site was built in the early 18th century, when a group of European Jews dedicated to mysticism …

Boys in Cartagena, Colombia, 2011

These young students in Cartagena are posed around the bimah after their morning prayers. Most of them have had a bar mitzvah and are wearing tefillin and a tallit, but a few of them are not yet of age. The community is also a relatively young one, primarily made up of recent converts to Judaism. …

Women Praying, Lima, Peru, 2003

At a house on the outskirts of Peru’s capital city, Lima, women pray the afternoon service, mincha. As part of a community of recent converts to Judaism, the congregation lacks some of the basic resources that other groups might take for granted. For instance, they read from a paper Torah scroll rather than a more …

Shema Yisrael, Medellín, Colombia, 2011

Prayer is a central focus of any Jewish community, whether it is conducted in the home, a synagogue, a community center, or outdoors. The rituals in this Latin American congregation may look like ones you have seen or participated in. Members of this community adhere to Orthodox traditions, with men and women sitting separately, and …

Synagogue Attic, Riga, Latvia, 1991

Before World War II, there were many synagogues in Riga, the capital of Latvia. In fact, until the 20th century, Eastern Europe was a center for Jewish life and learning. But today, only one synagogue still stands in Riga. And just a handful of elderly Jews, like the man in this picture, still attend services. During the communist …