Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Great Synagogue of small Mazkeret Batya


On a Beit Harav Kook study tour we visited the old "colonies" of Mazkeret Batya (originally called Ekron), Rishon LeZion, and Rehovot in central Israel.
Mazkeret Batya was founded in 1883.
In 1927 its first synagogue had to be razed, due to structural problems; and in 1928 the new Great Synagogue was built instead.

The sign notes a surprising fact: toward the end of the British Mandate, in the period leading up the war and to Israel's independence in 1948,  the Haganah force had a "slick," a secret weapons cache hidden under the bimah (the table on which the Torah scroll is unrolled and read).

Pictures of the interior of the synagogue after its 1989 renovation can be seen here.

Written in stone:
In the year Tarpaz

Baron Rothschild  and his wife, Adelheid, were great supporters of early Zionism.
He purchased huge tracts of land from the Arabs and got the Jewish pioneering families started in working the land. 
Rothschild changed the name of the Ekron community to Mazkeret Batya in remembrance of his mother, Batya, who had just died. 

You can learn more about Mazkeret Batya in this nice article by a tour guide
and/or at Wikipedia.
(Linking to inSPIRED Sunday.)


Hels said...

I am not sure what to call this type of synagogue architecture - Byzantine style with some Islamic elements? I hope the gorgeous building exterior survives forever.

Dina said...

Hels, can you read this? --
"חזית הבניין, הפונה אל הרחוב הראשי, מפוארת, אבל שאר הבניין, מאחוריה, פוקציונלי ופשוט למדי בחיצוניותו (פוסט-מודרניזם שהקדים את זמנו). בתצלומים מציגים, לרוב, רק את החזית. פנים בית-הכנסת יפה למדי. לפי המסופר, אנשי הברון תכננו ובנו את הבניין בלי שום התייעצות עם תושבי המושבה."

This suggests the style as "post-modernism before its time" and says the Baron's men planned and built the synagogue without even consulting the folks who lived in Mazkeret Batya. It says the facade is fancy but everything behind the facade is simple and functional.

Tom said...

...Dina, thanks for sharing this interesting bit of history.

Sandi said...

I wish I could read that!

Cloudia said...

Thank you for teaching us our history!

William Kendall said...

It looks quite distinctive.

Alice said...

I am grateful to you for teaching me about my history .

Bill Nicholls said...

Looks very inpressive

doodles n daydreams said...

An impressive building with an interesting history.


Jackie @travelnwrite said...

I am always disappointed that I can't speak/read every language in the world . . .especially when trying to read the signs that explain the history of a place. Great post and thanks for translating. :-)