An activist on behalf of Syrian civil war refugees is hoping to repair the ancient Aleppo Synagogue building, which sustained damage during the fighting.
The Central Synagogue of Aleppo building sustained minor damage recently as a result of the civil war in Syria, JTA reported.
Also known as the Great Synagogue of Aleppo, Joab’s Synagogue and Al-Bandara Synagogue, it has been a Jewish house of worship since the 5th century. When it functioned, it was considered Syria’s main synagogue. It is also where the Aleppo Codex was housed for 500 years until it was removed in 1947 during an anti-Jewish pogrom in the city following a UN vote to partition the Land of Israel for the creation of a Jewish state.
The damage, which affected a corner of the building, was likely caused by shelling, Moti Kahana told JTA. Kahana, an Israeli-American businessman, philanthropist and social activist, in 2011 founded Amaliah (Arabic for “hope” and Hebrew for “work of God), a non-profit organization that aims to relieve the suffering of Syrian civil war refugees and to empower women in the Middle East.
“It took a hit, but it’s still standing,” he said, adding that “the synagogue lies between the sniper post of moderate rebels and forces fighting for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad.”
“This is the last chance to save this synagogue and I’m appealing to anyone who can, Americans, Russians, Syrians, to help save it from the fighting ahead,” he stated.