Hechal Yehuda Synagogue
|Hechal Yehuda Synagogue|
|Location||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Direction of façade||North|
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. 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. 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. The construction of the synagogue was completed in 1980, after both Toledano and Recanati had died. Today most worshippers at the synagogue are Greek-Sephardi Jews originating from Thessaloniki.
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. The shell-like design creates an internal space which enables the congregation to see and to hear from wherever they are seated. The synagogue, incorporating two floors, has room for 600 persons, 400 men and 200 women in separated galleries.
- Media related to Hechal Yehuda Synagogue at Wikimedia Commons
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- "The most stunning synagogues in Israel". Time Out Israel. Retrieved 2018-10-28.