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Bet Israel Synagogue
You are the largest and most magnificent synagogue of the city, Bet Israel Synagogue.
Karatas district and around, newly opened for settlement at the time, was the spot wealthy Jewish people chose to settle in early 19th century. Synagogues of the period were insufficient to serve such a large community, and a request was sent to Sublime Porte in 1904 for a permit to build a new synagogue. A permit was granted on 15 March 1905, and construction was started immediately.
Opened for worshipping in 1907, Bet Israel Synagogue's construction style and seating formation is different from traditional Izmir synagogues. Synagogue wasn't built with a central plan, and it was built with two Tevas1 at first place. Due to position and angle of the land, Ehal2 was placed on south wall instead of east.
Due to lack of funding, this synagogue was covered by a small dome, and only in 1950 could interior decoration reach its final form you see today.
Bet Israel Synagogue resembles Italian synagogues: woodworks were conducted by Italian master carpenters using mahogany. The most beautiful parts of the synagogue are Teva and Ehal with perfect lacy woodwork.
All walls have large arched windows, each one featuring 6-cornered Star of David on top. Ground floor of the synagogue is for men, while second floor is reserved for women. On second floor, there's also a small exhibition room, where religious objects, documents, and documents are displayed.
Today, Bet Israel Synagogue is open only on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, along with special occasions and ceremonies such as Bar Mitzvah and weddings.