The Jerusalem Great Synagogue was founded on the 15th of Av, 5742 (1982) as a spiritual, religious, cultural and social center for Jerusalem and world Jewry.
Dedicated to the memory of the Six Million Jewish martyrs who perished in the Holocaust and to those who sacrificed their lives for the establishment and defense of the State of Israel, it serves as a permanent reminder of both the tragedies and hopes of the Jewish People and symbolizes the perseverance and continuity of the Jewish People in the face of adversity. Through the majestic beauty of the Synagogue, captivating prayer services, inspiring Torah study, lectures and other meaningful activities which take place in the Synagogue each week, their memories are honored and their legacy is preserved and strengthened.
The Jerusalem Great Synagogue encompasses the Main Sanctuary, the Sephardic Hechal Jacob Synagogue, the Bet Midrash Be'er Miriam, the Friedler Banquet Hall, The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Entrance Hall, the Jacob, Z"L, and Dr. Belle Rosenbaum Mezuzah Collection and the Dr. Maurice Jaffe Plaza.
The Jerusalem Great Synagogue, with both a world renowned Cantor and internationally-acclaimed choir, is one of the world's chief repositories for Jewish Ashkenazic liturgical music. With a mandate to preserve the vast repertoire of the cantorial and choral chants of pre-war Europe while injecting the music of modern Israel, the Synagogue's Cantor and Choir officiate regularly on Shabbatot, Holidays and Israel Independence Day.
The Main Synagogue with its resplendent architectural features and unimpeded views, seats 850 men and 550 women and is acoustically engineered to maximize sound capacity.
Viewing the Bima (main prayer stand) and the area leading to the Aron Kodesh (Torah repository) one sees the shape of a splendid Menorah (candelabra). Highlighting the sanctuary are a dazzling chandelier weighing more than three tons and breathtaking stained-glass windows above the Aron Kodesh, crafted by Regina Heim of Switzerland, portraying elements of both the spiritual and physical realms. The stained-glass windows on the sides of the men's and women's sections, were created by Alexander Friedman and depict themes of Shabbat, holidays and Biblical events.
The Jacob, Z"L, and Dr. Belle Rosenbaum Mezuzah Collection, permanently housed in the lobby foyer, is one of the largest such collections in the world. It contains thousands of stunning historic and contemporary mezuzah covers collected by the Rosenbaums over more than half a century.
The Synagogue's Beit Midrash Be'er Miriam serves as a house of prayer and study throughout the week with daily services and classes in Torah, Talmud, Ethics and Jewish law presented by outstanding Torah scholars.
The building is open daily during morning hours to welcome visitors, with free guided tours provided by prior arrangement.
The Jerusalem Great Synagogue has an annual operating budget of approximately $1,000,000. It is a non-profit institution that receives no government funding and relies totally on donations.