House of Worship in the middle of downtown

Dwarfed by Tel-Aviv’s downtown skyscrapers this little house of worship still manages to thrive.

The Ohel Moed synagogue was part of the Houses from Within tours that I was at the beginning of May.

In 1925 Joseph Berlin was commissioned to design a synagogue for the Yemenite Jewish community. Founded and funded with the help of Adeni Jews, it became the largest Sephardi synagogue of Tel Aviv.

Today the building is used for daily prayers by employees of the Electrical Company who work nearby and some 15 regular worshipers who come on the Sabbath.  The place is kept alive thanks to an entrepreneur who operates it as a trendy family occasion hall.

As I mounted the exterior red carpeted stairs I had the feeling that I was some V.I.P.

The three carved front doors enter you into an impressive sanctuary that is full of light reminding me of a joyful wedding ceremony.

Not until you look skyward do you see a giant dome made of 15 octagonal rows of stairs symbolizing the 15 elevations in the Temple. At the top of the dome glistens a polished diamond-like decoration.

Notice the arches supporting the dome are made up of 7 quarter arches to represent the seven branches of the menorah (candelabra).

I don’t know if this pew is original but I really liked the way the seat slid in so that congregants could easily pass by.

Although set on the dunes of Tel-Aviv, the building has Art Deco as well as Oriental influences.  Berlin used silicate bricks and given the limited resources of the time the building manages to convey originality and dignity.

2 thoughts on “House of Worship in the middle of downtown

  1. Pingback: Rare chance to see Red House — Tchochkes

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