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Back to Aleppo

A Virtual-Reality Tour of the Great Synagogue

  • Date iconJune 16 2022 - June 29 2024
  • Curator: Revital Hovav
  • Designer: Ariel Armoni
  • The Isidore and Anne Falk Information Center for the Jewish Art and Life

Please note: Tickets for the virtual reality tour must be purchased in advance


In this exhibition, visitors are invited to travel through time on a virtual-reality tour of the ancient synagogue of Aleppo, built between the fifth and seventh centuries CE. This was the oldest synagogue where Jewish prayer continued uninterrupted until the late twentieth century.

The display, created by the Place project using new VR technology, reconstructs the synagogue’s appearance at the height of its glory, in November 1947, a few days before the U.N. resolution to establish the State of Israel and the ensuing riots that brought about the synagogue’s destruction.

The virtual visit of the synagogue was made possible by Sarah Shammah, a brave member of the historical Aleppo Jewish community. Sarah travelled to Aleppo and commissioned a photographer to document the synagogue, later smuggling the photographs to Israel at great personal risk. The photographs formed the basis for the reconstruction of the synagogue in virtual reality, allowing the visitor to join her and "enter" the synagogue, wander among its wings, and view its glorious Torah arks, just as Sarah did on her last visit there.

The Aleppo synagogue was renovated in the 1990s for use by the local community, but in 2016 was again destroyed during the Syrian civil war.

The story of the Aleppo community, for which the ancient synagogue was a source of pride, and ritual objects characteristic of Syrian Jewry, are also included in the exhibition.


Creators of Place - a virtual-reality installation: Avi Dabach, Harmke Heezen, Judith Manassen-Ramon, Mike Robbins

The exhibition was made possible thanks to a dedicated gift of the Moise Y. Safra Foundation, New York to honor the history and contributions of the Aleppo community, and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, New York 


Tickets for the VR tour must be purchased in advance, in addition to museum admission

Recommended age: 7+

The ticket allows you to choose one tour out of the two options offered

15 NIS | Free for members and friends

Please arrive at the designated hour. Visitors arriving late will be denied entry | The length of the virtual tour is 15 minutes

The exhibition includes an accessibility station for people with disabilities