Etz Hayyim Synagogue

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Etz Hayyim Synagogue
בית הכנסת עץ חיים
Basic information
Location Parodos Kondylaki
Greece Chania, Greece
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism and other Jewish Denominations[1]
Website Etz Hayyim Synagogue

The Etz Hayyim Synagogue (Hebrew: בית הכנסת עץ חיים‎‎) is the only surviving remnant of the once Romaniote Jewish community on the Greek isle of Crete. After being restored, the synagogue (with its Mikveh) has become a tourist destination and has attracted visits from foreign dignitaries like Queen Sofía of Spain, the sister of the former King Constantine II of Greece, who made a sudden and unannounced visit to the site on March 6, 2006.

The synagogue was the target of an arson attack by a British citizen in January 5, 2010.[2]

Today the community is a symbol of a good living together. The community life has revived while almost all congregants are Non-Jews. Occasionally a Rabbi or (at the jewish holidays) someone who is able to blow the shofar visits the community. An International team takes care of the congregation work. Christians and Muslims are invited to visit the meetings and in opposition to other Jewish Congregations in Europe, the visitors have not to show their passport at the entrance.[3][4]

Despite of the community's romaniote past, the congregation today uses primarily the sefardic custom of Greece and has developed its own Haggadah text.[5]


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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°30′56″N 24°01′00″E / 35.51556°N 24.01667°E / 35.51556; 24.01667