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Algazi (Algaze) Synagogue
You're at Algazi Synagogue, one of the most important synagogues in Izmir.
According to its epitaph, this synagogue was built in 1724, by order of Ishak Algazi. For long centuries, Algazi family have raised very important clergymen and masters of Classical Turkish Music in Izmir. Another argument about the construction of this synagogue claims that it existed long before, and was under control of Sabbatai Zevi in 1666. Epitaphs dated 5649 (Gregorian 1889 - located in the yard) and 5661 (Gregorian 1901 - located at the gate) show dates for restoration works of large extent or reformation after great fire of 1841.
This masonry synagogue features wooden floor and ceiling tiles. Wooden main gate and grey & black marble used in the floor are from 19th century.
Teva(1) of this synagogue, also known as Upper Synagogue, is located at the centre of the worshipping area. On the right side of Ehal(2) is the seat of Abraham Palacci, renowned chief rabbi of Izmir. Rumour has it that one day, during a ceremony, a young Hazzan(3) was caught winking to a lady in the crowd, and thus the women's section in this temple was demolished and never constructed back.
There is a door leading downstairs in synagogue's open yard. In the old days, downstairs, also known as Lower Synagogue, was a place where 10 elder men would pray for the well-being of the country and community. Holy books and items not in use would also be kept here, until they would get buried.
Algazi Synagogue has been kept alive through restoration works, most recent being in 1997 and 2007, and it is still open for worshipping on every Sabbath and other religious holidays.