About This File
In 1948 - the crowning synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem was destroyed along with dozens of other Jewish houses of worship as arab forces demolished the Old City and expelled all Jewish residents.
Construction of the Hurva Synagogue (not its original name — hurva means "ruins") began under Rabbi Judah the Hassid in 1700 but ceased upon his death. The rabbi was a member of one of the first groups of Ashkenazi Jews to immigrate to Jerusalem, a few hundred from Poland.
The Hurva Synagogue was restarted under Ibrahim Pasha in 1836 and finally completed in 1856. Designed in a grand Neo-Byzantine style, it was one of the largest buildings in the Old City.
However, after less than a century in operation, the synagogue was destroyed during mass bombings of synagogues by the Jordanian Arab Legion during the war of 1948. The conservation and investigation of the ruins began in 1977.
Since the Israeli recapture of Jerusalem in 1967, many plans have been made for its rebuilding. In 2005, the Israeli government announced a plan to rebuild the synagogue in exactly the same form as before, assigning the project a budget of $6.2 million.