The Great Synagogue Experience
Feel it with your Eyes... See it with your Soul
Jerusalem. City of hope and promise, longing and belonging. The place where faith melds a millennia of dreams and prayers ascend directly to heaven. Only in Jerusalem do the past and future converge to kindle the eternal Jewish spirit. The Jerusalem Great Synagogue experience embodies this essence.
For the past 25 years, The Jerusalem Great Synagogue has been a spiritual, religious, cultural and social center for the Jewish People of all backgrounds from across the world. Dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews 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 their strength in the face of adversity. Other than the Kotel (Western Wall), there is no one sanctuary which serves as a 'home away from home' for so many visitors as does The Jerusalem Great Synagogue.
The Jerusalem Great Synagogue warmly embraces residents and visitors with a lifetime experience in Jewish pride and spiritual continuity. It is one of the few synagogues in the world that has a world famous Cantor and Choir officiating regularly on Shabbatot, holidays and Israel Independence Day. Congregants will find themselves captivated by both traditional cantorial and choral prayer renditions as well as contemporary Jewish liturgical music.
Visitors to The Great Synagogue will be enchanted by the building's architectural splendor and by the breathtaking stained-glass windows above the Aron Kodesh and those depicting Biblical themes and verses that highlight the Main Sanctuary and surround its colossal, dazzling chandelier. But even before entering the sanctuary, visitors will be greeted by an inspiring exhibit of living Judaism, on permanent display in the lobby foyer: The Jacob, Z"L, and Dr. Belle Rosenbaum Mezuzah collection, featuring hundreds of spectacular historic and contemporary Mezuzot - one of the largest such collections in the world.
The Beit Midrash Be'er Miriam (dedicated to the memory of the late Miriam Landau) serves as a house of prayer and study throughout the week with hundreds of residents and visitors attending daily services and classes in Torah, Talmud, Ethics and Jewish Law presented by outstanding Torah scholars.
The Great Synagogue's Friedler Banquet Hall is an elegant venue for hosting weddings, celebrations and a wide array of special events for Israeli residents and visitors from across the world. It is also the place where our friendly, communal after-service kiddushim and many other cultural events are held, including our monthly winter 'Motzaei Shabbat Mevorchim Social Evening and Lecture Series,' featuring leading Israeli public figures as guest speakers. More than 1000 people attend the lectures, making the program one of the most popular events in Jerusalem.
Thousands of people from across the world, in addition to those who attend prayer services, flock to the Great Synagogue annually. Despite their wide range of backgrounds and cultures, they come with shared pride and dreams, to learn and teach, to be inspired and to inspire, to commemorate the past and celebrate the future of Jewish spiritual continuity: First graders from schools throughout Israel come for their first Siddur presentation. Older students come for special Selichot or Rosh Chodesh services. Many groups of soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces tour the site regularly. Annual 'group' Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations for children of Ethiopian and Russian immigrants and children of Israeli police personnel are hosted by The Great Synagogue. In addition, many non-Jews come to The Great Synagogue to learn about Judaism, Zionism and Jewish prayer.
The Jerusalem Great Synagogue serves Jewish people and communities from all continents as one of the foremost spiritual centers in Jerusalem, the Jewish capital of the world. It is the site where the Chief Rabbis of Israel are inaugurated, in the presence of the Prime Minister and President of Israel. It is the site where the spirit of each Jew who perished in the Holocaust or whose life was sacrificed in the creation or defense of the State of Israel is eternalized. It is a living testament to the ideals they cherished and the faith they possessed. It is a glorious symbol of our eternal heritage and the embodiment of the Jewish People's permanence and resolute commitment to survival.
The building is open daily during morning hours to welcome visitors, with free guided tours provided by prior arrangement.