Hechal Yehuda Synagogue

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Hechal Yehuda Synagogue
PikiWiki Israel 7107 salonikis synagogue in tel aviv.jpg
AffiliationOrthodox Judaism
LocationTel Aviv, Israel
Architect(s)Yitzchak Toledano
Aharon Russo
Direction of façadeNorth

The Hechal Yehuda Synagogue (Hebrew: בית הכנסת היכל יהודה, Beit haKnesset Hechal Yehuda), also commonly known as the Recanati synagogue (Hebrew: בית הכנסת רקנטי, Beit haKnesset Recanati), is one of approximately 500 synagogues in Tel Aviv, Israel. Situated on the Menahem ben Saruq street in the city's centre, it is often referred to as the Seashell Synagogue (Hebrew: בית הכנסת קונכית, Beit haKnesset Konkit, Greek: Συναγωγή Κοχύλι) because of its unusual shape resembling a seashell.[1] The design is inspired by the seashells on the shores of the Greek city of Thessaloniki, which is the hometown of the wealthy Recanati family and the synagogue's architect, Yitzhak Toledano. It was the Recanati family who donated the money for the synagogue.[1][2] It is affiliated with Orthodox Judaism.


The Hechal Yehuda Synagogue was built in memory of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki, which was almost completely destroyed during the Holocaust. It is named after Yehuda Leon Recanati.[3][4] The construction of the synagogue was completed in 1980, after both Toledano and Recanati had died.[1][5] Today most worshippers at the synagogue are Greek-Sephardi Jews originating from Thessaloniki.[6]


The north bare concrete facade is decorated with bas-reliefs of traditional Jewish motifs and symbols, made by artist Yechezkel Kimchi, while the coloured-glass windows, that present motifs from Jewish holidays, were made by the local artist Josef Shealtiel.[1] The shell-like design creates an internal space which enables the congregation to see and to hear from wherever they are seated.[7] The synagogue, incorporating two floors, has room for 600 persons, 400 men and 200 women in separated galleries.[1]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Hechal Yehuda Synagogue". emporis.com. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  2. ^ "Heichal Yehuda Synagogue". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  3. ^ "Leon Recanati". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  4. ^ "Tel Aviv". Bate Kenesiot Del Mundo — Synagogues of the world. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  5. ^ "Tel Aviv Architecture I | treysar". treysar. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" בית הכנסת היכל יהודה. telavivinf.com (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2009-02-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "The most stunning synagogues in Israel". Time Out Israel. Retrieved 2018-10-28.

Coordinates: 32°5′12.22″N 34°47′0.17″E / 32.0867278°N 34.7833806°E / 32.0867278; 34.7833806