The Tunisian Synagogue (Ohr Torah) in Acre (Acco)
This site is a gem - an amazing synagogue decorated from floor to ceiling with mosaics. There is nothing like it in the world. The mosaics are the product of 54 years of love for Zion Badash – a love of the synagogue, a love of the Land of Israel and a love of Judaism.
Zion Badash was born in Gafsa, Tunisia. He much admired the synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba which also was very beautiful. He was also an ardent Zionist and he immigrated to Israel in the early 50s. He became the first gabbai of his synagogue in Acco and began decorating it. The mosaics were manufactured in the mosaic factory at Kibbutz Eilon, which makes handcrafted mosaics. All the stones in their varied colors are from Israel. He passed away in 2016.
The synagogue has four floors and each of them is covered with mosaics – the floors, the walls, the ceiling, even the bannisters. The effect is both stunning and inspiring. At the same time, Ohr Torah is also a functional orthodox synagogue. The first floor is the study hall, the second the main sanctuary, the third floor the woman’s section, and the fourth floor is dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust. The themes of the mosaics are the Bible, Jewish historical events, images of the modern State of Israel and on the fourth floor the Holocaust (Zion was a holocaust survivor).
Directions and parking: Enter into Waze “Tunisian synagogue” and click on “Akko Tunisian Synagogue.” The address is 13 Eliezer Kaplan Synagogue. There is street parking.
Admission: The synagogue is often open in the morning, but a visit should be scheduled in advance. Zion passed away and his daughter Yaffa greets visitors and shows off her father’s work. There is a modest admission fee. The contact number is 04 981 8451. This is their webpage.
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