Ashkenazi Synagogue

Nestled in Kote Abkhazi Street, a bustling hub of tourism and multiculturalism in Tbilisi, the Ashkenazi Synagogue stands as a testament to the city's rich Jewish heritage. Known also as Beit Rachel and the Ashkenazi Beit Knesset Synagogue, this holy place has over a century's worth of history woven into its walls.

First constructed in 1910 by Jewish immigrants from Iran and Kurdistan, the Ashkenazi Synagogue has a storied past. During the Soviet era, a forced resettlement saw the original patrons of the synagogue relocated, and it subsequently changed hands to the Ashkenazi Jews.

The synagogue’s architecture is a reflection of its rich history. It comprises a prayer hall, festival hall, and a women’s gallery, where female devotees offer their prayers. The building’s aesthetic appeal is further enhanced by colorful stained-glass windows that adorn its walls, adding a spiritual vibrancy to the place.

Despite the test of time and societal changes, the Ashkenazi Synagogue remains an active place of worship. Regular prayers, ritual feasts, and Jewish holidays are celebrated within its sacred confines, offering visitors and members alike a chance to partake in Jewish customs or simply enjoy a moment of tranquility.

Interestingly, a relic of Jewish antiquity can be found within Tbilisi – the Lailashi Torah. This 10th-11th century Jewish manuscript, stored at the National Centre of Manuscripts in Tbilisi, was originally kept in a synagogue in Lailashi, a village in Lechkhumi once home to a Jewish settlement. The Lailashi Torah is hailed by historians as a priceless treasure, further highlighting the rich Jewish heritage of the area.

The Ashkenazi Synagogue, rebuilt in 2009 following severe damage from the 1991 earthquake, is situated at number 28 of Kote Afhazi Street, within a traditional courtyard signposted in Hebrew. It continues to serve the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Georgia under the stewardship of the Habad movement. For those visiting Tbilisi during Shabbat, a dinner at this welcoming community is an experience to cherish. The small synagogue also houses a Beit Habad, further emphasizing its role as a hub of Jewish life in Tbilisi.

The Tbilisi Ashkenazi Synagogue embodies the city’s multicultural ethos and continues to shine as a beacon of Jewish heritage, faith, and community.

Nearest to Ashkenazi Synagogue

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