Shfaram Ancient Synagogue

Shfaram Ancient Synagogue

The Shfaram Ancient Synagogue is located in the Israeli-Arab city of Shfaram, Northern Israel. Shfaram was noted in 1845 by Rabbi Joseph Schwarz in his book Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine as having "about thirty Jewish families who have an old synagogue". Jews lived in Shfaram until the 1970s when the community disbanded. Subsequently the building fell into disrepair and was only recently renovated. Although being abandoned, the keys to the former house of worship are held by a local Muslim and the synagogue is treated with respect by the local Arabs.

In November 2006 the building was rededicated after works to renovate the synagogue were carried out voluntarily by a group of newly qualified police officers. At the ceremony, Shfaram mayor Ursan Yassin retold how that during the October riots he had been forced to physically protect the location and had told local youngsters who wanted to burn it down that they could set him alight, but he would not allow them to harm the synagogue. There were however reports of damage to religious artifacts in the ancient synagogue on October 9, 2000.

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