Hurva Synagogue, Jerusalem

The Hurva Synagogue is a historic synagogue on Hurva Square in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, whose extensive reconstruction was completed in March 2010.


History of Hurva Synagogue

Construction on the Hurva Synagogue began under Rabbi Judah the Hassid in 1700 but ceased upon his death. The rabbi was a member of one of the first groups of Ashkenazi Jews to immigrate to Jerusalem, a few hundred from Poland.

The failure of the Ashkenazi community to pay the debts incurred by the half-built synagogue led to the riots that resulted in their expulsion from Jerusalem in 1720. The synagogue itself was destroyed in 1721, and the resulting desolate ruins (hurva) gave the synagogue its present name.

The Hurva Synagogue was restarted under Ibrahim Pasha in 1836 and finally completed in 1856. Designed in a grand Neo-Byzantine style, it was one of the largest buildings in the Old City.

However, after less than a century in operation, the synagogue was destroyed by the Jordanian Arab Legion during the war of 1948. Conservation and investigation of the ruins began in 1977.

Since the Israeli recapture of Jerusalem in 1967, many plans have been made for its rebuilding. In 2005, the Israeli government announced a plan to rebuild the synagogue in exactly the same form as before, assigning the project a budget of $6.2 million. According to the Jewish Quarter Development Company, two-thirds of the cost was donated by the Ukrainian Jewish magnates Vadim Rabinovitch and Igor Kolomoisky.

Construction took five years, and the restored Hurva Synagogue was dedicated on March 15, 2010. The event prompted riots from Palestinians, some of whom held that the rededication signalled the Israelis' intent to destroyed Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount and replace them with the Third Temple.

What to See at Hurva Synagogue

The Hurva Synagogue stands on the west side of Hurva Square in the Jewish Quarter. It has been rebuilt in the same Neo-Byzantine style as the original, with a central plan and a large dome over the main hall.

The historically important Ramban Synagogue is nearby on Hurva Square.

Quick Facts on Hurva Synagogue

Site Information
Names:Churva Synagogue · Hurva Synagogue · Hurvah Synagogue · Ruins Synagogue
Categories:synagogues; ruins
Styles:Byzantine Revival
Dates:1700; 1836-56; 2010
Status: ruins
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:31.775398° N, 35.231234° E
Address:Hurva Square
Lodging:View hotels near Hurva Synagogue
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Eyewitness Travel Guide to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, 78.
  2. Kay Prag, Blue Guide to Israel and the Palestinian Territories (Black and Norton, 2002), 206-07.
  3. Hurva Synagogue - Wikipedia
  4. The Old City (The Jewish Quarter) -
  5. Mini Rough Guide to Jerusalem, 73-74.
  6. "In the Holy Land, a Rebuilding for the Generations" - The Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2010

More Information

© Nicholas Shwartz
© upyernoz
© Utalempe
© Lilach Daniel

Map of Hurva Synagogue, Jerusalem

Below is a location map and aerial view of Hurva Synagogue. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.