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Explore Israel with Hadassah:
A Hands On Active Adventure
October 16-25, 2013
Winter in Natanya-is the best kept secret in Hadassah.
Winter in Natanya-has been in existence for 28 years, based in
Winter in Natanya-offers women and men to volunteer at Natanya
Winter in Natanya-offers the opportunity to study Ulpan.
Winter in Natanya-offers the opportunity to hear lectures,
Winter in Natanya-is greatly appreciated and held in high esteem
Winter in Natanya- COME-ENJOY-VOLUNTEER-LEARN-
Take a tour of the Synagogues of America by clicking here.
Beautiful photos of various windows and bimahs in synagogues around the United States, thanks to
A JEWISH TOUR OF SPAIN
Submitted by Sheila Steinberg, Chevra Chapter
I recently returned from a tour of Spain, where 500 years ago, on Tisha B'Av in 1492, the Jews were expelled by Isabella and Ferdinand. Surprisingly, in 2010, there is still (or again?) a Jewish presence in Spain - and tourists are flocking to partake of this feast for the eyes and the soul.
Two of the many cities we visited, Toledo and Cordoba, were home to the peaceful co-existence of 3 religions during what has been called "The Golden Age of Spain." Prior to the reign of Isabella and Ferdinand, Moors, Jews and Christians lived side-by-side, plying their trades and helping each other through the sharing of their expertise. The Moors were skilled architects and builders. They designed and built the synagogues for the Jews, and, to our delight, 3 of these synagogues, which at one time had been converted to churches, are now beautiful testaments to the perseverence of the Jewish people and our culture.
While they are now "museums," tour guides from all nations (even German-speaking) bring their groups through, explaining the history and the splendor of what were once thriving Sephardic communities.
There are two synagogues (Sinogogas) in Toledo. The first, just down the street from a bronze statue of Samuel Ha-Levi, at the entrance to the "Judios" or Jewish Quarter, is called the Transito. It is the larger of the two, and is a splendid example of the blend of Moorish and Jewish elements. There is a Women's Gallery upstairs and a Garden of Remembrance in the back. Judaica available at a shop nearby Transito
The Bimah wall Inside the Transito Synagogue
The 2nd synagogue, now called Santa Maria la Blanca, on Calle Reyes Catolicos, is much older and much smaller, but still in the Moorish style. The Jews owned the well in that area of the city, and everyone had to come to them to get water. Inside, there are pillars and mosaics, yet the layout is still reminiscent of any synagogue you might visit today.
Maimonides was born in Cordoba. There is a square named for him and his statue
The Sinogoga was converted to the Maria de la Blanca church in the early 1500's, but the Catholics did not change the original Moorish-Jewish architecture at all. There is Hebrew writing all over the walls here, and the original Torah niches are still in place.
The Bimah and niches for the Torahs are at the left. To the right is the front entrance from a courtyard where, in 1985, the Spanish people put up a plaque in honor of Maimonides' genius and great contributions to Cordoba.
In the entrance vestibule, there is a wooden staircase leading up to the women's gallery.
A Footnote: See "Jewish Communities" under Feature Articles for pictures and story about Ribadavia, another Spanish town to the Northwest, near Vigo.
Stay tuned for more pictures and stories from Jewish Hot Spots around the world! If you have something to contribute, please e-mail website coordinator Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org.