Reconstruction Scramble After Severe Fire in Tel Aviv Synagogue

September 10, 2014  

The bottom floor of the Ichud Shivat Zion synagogue in Tel Aviv was severely damaged by a fire several days ago, in a blaze which destroyed many holy books and damaged several rooms and hallways.

This week, Arutz Sheva spoke to the synagogue’s staff about the damage – and plans for reconstruction. 

“I came a bit later and saw the firefighters outside,” he continued. “They were trying to fight the fire from above, but then understood that the main point is down here.”

The damage was extreme, he said. 

All the holy books, all the rooms, it was all damaged… there are ancient books here.”

The synagogue’s secretary, Akiva Smoler, said that the fire had proven a large blow for Tel Aviv’s religious community.

Renovations are underway, however. 

Amos Sadeh, from the Belfour building rehabilitation company, stated that the renovations would be handled with care and respect. 

“From the moment we saw the damage, we realized that this rehabilitation has to do not only with power tools, but also with the soul,” Sadeh stated. “The damage to this sacred place is great, and we treat the building with reverence, as well as those things which need genizah [special procedures for disposing of Jewish texts – ed.].” 

“This is certainly different than reconstructing an apartment, shop, or factory,” he added, “but we are working to restore the synagogue as quickly as possible.” 

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