This Is The Most Important Shul Renovation Of Our Generation!

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Throughout Europe and even in certain Arab countries, we have seen governments and individuals over the recent years taking on projects to restore destroyed Synagogues and Jewish pride. The latest example such is the synagogue currently being renovated in Hungary with funds from Jamie lee Curtis.

Whether there are still Jewish communities or not (many have anyway died off), the authorities want to restore these centers of Jewish life and in some small way repair the damage of past shocking hatred and antisemitism.

While this is praiseworthy, it is happening in dead or dying communities in exile. What about here under our noses in the heart of Jerusalem? Why aren’t Jews from around the world knocking down our door to help restore a Beit Knesset in the Shiloach adjacent to the Temple Mount, the Old City and the City of David?

Built by Yemenite and Sefardi Jews 130 years ago, the Beit Knesset in the Shiloach was ransacked, burnt, and destroyed by “Rioting Arabs” in 1938. These same Arabs subsequently squatted in the building complex. Fast forward to 2021, Ateret Cohanim has facilitated acquisitions and revived Jewish life in the area including the “redemption” of the entire Beit Knesset complex.

The project (the Yemenite cultural center plus Beit Knesset) has expected costs of $3.5-4 million. The government of Israel has put in $1 million, but at the moment left wing radical groups like Ir Amim and Peace Now are trying to stop such government spending. A most generous family from Melbourne Australia has also donated to keep the project going and more funds are required.

This writer isn’t saying that we maybe we shouldn’t care or restore old synagogues in an antisemitic Europe with dying Jewish communities. However, today with our own State of Israel, with the return of the Jewish People to her homeland, our focus must be restoring ALL Jewish life here in our land.

Priorities must be here – in Israel; whether it be restoring synagogues, building new Jewish centers, redeeming old Jewish properties in Jerusalem (or any other city), building hospitals.

For involvement in restoring the original Yemenite Beit Knesset and doing something significant (legacy project) for Am Yisrael and Yerushalayim- call or me- Daniel Luria 972546544407.

Article by Daniel Luria

Daniel Luria is the Executive Director and International Spokesman for Ateret Cohanim. He is considered a global expert on Jerusalem, with a focus on urban land reclamation initiatives. he is a sought after speaker, guide, and informal educator in relation to his work in Jerusalem.

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