The Or Torah – “Jariva” – (Tunisian) Synagogue, Acco
Acco may be famous for Crusaders, Ottoman Pashas and Rabbi Haim Luzzatto, but in my opinion the most original and unique attraction in Acco is the Tunisian Or Torah Synagogue – known as the “Jariva”. It is a mosaic wonderland – literally covered in mosaics – both inside and out – every floor, wall, ceiling and step – and 140 stained-glass windows. You have to climb 4 stories (no elevator available) to view spectacular mosaics displays. All of the mosaics were created in Kibbutz Eilon from millions of natural stones. All of them natural and all of them from Israel. The project is the outcome of 54 years of work – the dream of Acre resident Zion Badasche. Zion also calls the synagogue the Djerba Synagogue, after the Jewish community on the island by that name off the coast of his native Tunisia. The Synagogue proudly boasts seven engraved, silver Torah Arks.
The mosaics and stained-glass windows depict the history of the Jewish people and of the Land of Israel:
- Bible stories
- Ancient synagogue mosaics
- Menorah, shofar, harp and other musical instruments used in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem
- Tribes of Israel
- Matriarchs and other Bible heroines
- Signs of the zodiac
- Flora and fauna
- IDF corps and Israel Police
- Modern Jewish and Israeli history
Address: 13 Kaplan Street, Acre
To arrange a visit, call 050-68220781
On my last visit Zion Badasche was in the downstairs synagogue. He was kind enough to allow me to photograph him. He is amazing.