East Melbourne Synagogue
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
13 reviews
Excellent
6
Very good
3
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4
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Xavier Rudinsky
2 contributions
Dec 2021
An exquisite and historic space. Particularly enjoyed the library loft upstairs with quite a few interesting books. I believe they are renovating and expanding the library and museum component in the coming months.
Written February 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Peter B
Haifa, Israel6 contributions
Sep 2019 • Solo
Beautiful old Synagogue with a dynamic, young rabbi. Enjoyed shabbat dinner after services. Wonderful conversation and terrific Shabbat spirit.
Written October 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Menachem g
1 contribution
Jan 2019 • Family
A beautiful Synagogue! One of the staff will give you a tour. If you are lucky you can meet the rabbi and discuss some Torah with him.
Written July 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TheShis
Tel Aviv, Israel37,174 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
This is a lovely and somehow modest synagogue.
The local rabbi was nice enough to show us in and give us a short introduction to the synagogue and the thriving Jewish community in Melbourne.
Written December 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Handybandy
Melbourne, Australia2 contributions
Jun 2018 • Family
A serene and historic space for meditation prayer and other activity. A spiritual oasis in the city of Melbourne.
Written July 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Xavier Rudinsky
2 contributions
Dec 2017 • Family
Only functioning Synagogue in the CBD of Melbourne. Welcomed warmly by a Chabad Rabbi and enjoyed my stay immensely.
Written February 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

EndlessTravels
Greater Melbourne, Australia35,342 contributions
Dec 2017
You might as well check it out as it’s close to parliament gardens and other lovely attractions such as St Pats in area.
Written December 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rasputin21
Ashburton, Australia2,194 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
We had tried to visit this historic building to learn about its part in Melbourne's history on several occasions but always missed out on Open House Day. This time I was lucky and was able to visit it. Dwarfed by many (including Melbourne's first skyscraper - the ICI, now Orica building) tall buildings, this building symbolises the cohesive community that Melbourne experienced in its early days. There were two other smaller synagogues, built of wood in other parts of the city of Melbourne, but these have been demolished, so the East Melbourne Synagogue is now oldest continuously functioning synagogue in Victoria It has played a vital part in the life of Melbourne Jewry for over 150 years and hosted many bar mitzvahs including those of Isaac Isaacs and Sir John Monash In 1857, the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation was established after separating from the Melbourne Hebrew congregation. A grant of land was obtained at the corner of Little Lonsdale St and Stephen (now Exhibition) Street. A building which incorporated a synagogue and school was erected on this site. As membership grew the small building became inadequate. In 1873m land for a new synagogue at 488 Albert Street was purchased for 2261 pounds. The synagogue opened in September 1877. Crouch and Wilson were the architects and they also built many other significant buildings in Melbourne. The Renaissance Revival façade has the unusual addition of the two octagonal domes flanking the central pediment the survival of an intact bema and tabernacle.
Inside in the foyer are several electric candles behind glass panels. The community member explained that these were in memory of past members and are lit on significant days of remembrance.
Inside the synagogue on either side of the tabernacle are prayers in English and Hebrew for the English Royal Family. You can see where Queen Elizabeth's name has been rewritten over the name of the previous monarch. This is unlikely to change again. The first Jewish migrants were of English origin and hence this prayer for the health and good governance on the part of the reigning monarch. However the English congregation felt that Carlton was too working class for them and most of them upped and moved south of the Yarra to Caulfield and they built the new synagogue on St Kilda Road.

The rabbi conducts the service from the centre of the sanctuary. He explained that each Torah is exactly the same all over the world so that the same message is read at the same time. The Torah covers the first five books of the Old Testament.
Upstairs in the women's gallery, the seats have different coloured covers but there is no religious significance to this - just a donation of fabric. The windows however are of significance. The stained glass was done in 1950 by a member of the congregation placing coloured glass on the plain glass and fusing the design together. The twelve stained glass windows represent the twelve tribes of Israel. These windows have now become part of the building heritage overlay and cannot be altered in any way. The choir at the back of the gallery is no longer used for a choir but has been made into a library.
There is no standard form that a synagogue must be built to and a menorah in the sanctuary of different synagogues around Europe testify to this. Visitors were shown the rams horns that are blown on certain days and which would have been blown around the walls of Jericho. The Torah was originally written on parchment and if a page is torn the Torah cannot be used again.
As this is an orthodox synagogue, the rabbi and his family live on site so that they do not travel on the Sabbath.
This is a well worth a visit and the community members are welcoming and knowledgeable.
Take the train to Parliament and walk from there or take the tram on routes 35, 86 and 96 and get off at Stop 10 Spring Street and Albert Street.
Written August 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GPBurdell67
Asheville, NC1,975 contributions
Jan 2016 • Couples
While walking in Parliament Gardens near the cathedral, I spotted an historic building with a Star of David on the facade -- the East Melbourne Synagogue. We received a friendly welcome and personal tour of the sanctuary by one of the congregation's members while the rabbi's young child kept watch on us. Now operated by Chabad, it is the only synagogue in the City of Melbourne (there are many more in the suburbs). It was a pleasant visit to this historic house of worship.
Written February 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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East Melbourne Synagogue

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