Bikur Holim Synagogue

Konak / İzmir

Bikur Holim Synagogue

Salomon de Ciaves, a Portuguese originned Dutch immigrant to Izmir, donated one of his large courtyard houses to the Jewish Community in 1724 to be used as a synagogue. Ensuring the purchase of all the religious books and sacred objects required, he also donated some of the neighboring houses and shops in order to bring some revenue to the institution.

The synagogue becoming known as 'Bikur Holim', meaning visiting the sick, probably coincides with the times when the basement was used as a hospital during a plague or cholera epidemics that were once common in the city.

It is also possible that the said basement was once the prison of the Jewish Community. Burned down in 1772, the synagogue was rebuilt in 1800 by Manuel de Ciaves of the same family.

This synagogue is one of the most impressive places of worship in Izmir, with the main prayer hall designed in the central plan, a magnificent Tevah (prayer reading platform), and a ceiling decorated with flower and fruit patterns, and columns painted in green and yellow.


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