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“A main synagogue in Jerusalem”

The Great Synagogue
Mahwah, New Jersey
Level Contributor
444 reviews
173 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“A main synagogue in Jerusalem”
Reviewed July 8, 2014

The stained glass windows are beautiful. I went on a Saturday morning and I must say it was pretty empty for the main day of religious worship.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Sheryl T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chorley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Very Friendly Staff”
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Free entry for anyone of any faith. Door staff were really friendly and happy to share information. Modern, cool and tranquil building.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank KathrynC8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jerusalem
Level Contributor
42 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Moving experience, wonderful choir”
Reviewed May 13, 2014 via mobile

Very interesting and moving experience. Whether you are Jewish or not. Wonderful exhibition of Mezuzot in the entrance. If you attend on the first sabath of the month there is a good free spread of food - a kiddush. It's also great to go when there is a barmitzvah when the family throws sweets.beautiful singing

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Barbara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
53 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Memorable, but always welcoming”
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Having attended Shabbat services here every week during my past 9 visits to Jerusalem I can truthfully say that The Great Synagogue is much more than an impressive piece of architecture.

While it nows feels like home, my first visit was no less warm and friendly. From one's initial greeting at the front door security desk, to assistance during the services and 'Shabbat Shalom's' from seat neighbours afterwards one is immediately made to feel comfortable.

While everything is conducted in Ivrit, apart from the occasional program announcement in English, this actually encourages one to try to follow along and attempt the prayers and their responses. The upper women's galleries are open and have fine views and accoustics.

Spotlessly clean and well organized, the interior is powerful and inspires awe, but for some reason not in a negative way. It reminds me of Tempio Maggiore di Roma. The main lobby has a wonderful collection of Mezzuzahs on display, but don't count on finding your own copies at antique shops as most are very rare.

The plentiful supply of the Sach's Koren Siddurs is comforting. However, I also take another Hebrew variety and try and integrate the two during the 2+ hour.long service. There are frequently touring groups in attendance and to be able to help them with directions actually makes one feel like a regular.

They have a wonderful choir who I have been privileged to hear on many occasions. Sometimes there will be a guest Cantor. One year their Purim reading of Meggilah Esther followed the Sephardic rite. Their Chief Rabbi is from Montreal giving this writer a further sense of connection were one required.

Their educational programs are varied and excellant. From lectures and talks to Lone Soldier events it is always a bonus to find out something is 'on' during the weeks that one is there. These are held in the equally impressive basement hall or study rooms.

Built and financed as a private venture one is left with the utmost admiration of the founding family members taste and foresight. Consider making a donation to assist in the continuation of their service to the community, both domestic and visiting.

Their website lists upcoming events and service times, but of late has had less timely postings of things. They have glass case notice boards on either side of the front doors which one can inspect during weekdays. Afterwards just sit in the plaza and admire the exterior architecture.

The walk along King George Street to and from services there is relaxing. One can sit on a bench and experience Shabbat in Jerusalem.

Given its imposing size The Great Synagogue can hardly be described as a ' hidden gem ' but a visit there should be on everyone's touring list. If possible do pay them more than one visit; perhaps making it a joint venture with the Wolfson Judaica Museum next door.

You will treasure the memories of your visit and long to return I am sure.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Yonatan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
81 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“HUGE, AWE INSPIRING AND WONDERFUL”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We have attended Sabbath services there many times. In addition we have been to many programs there, including the taping of a TV show. All in all, a special place.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank rebrapp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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