At a ceremony in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli officials laid the cornerstone for the rebuilding of the Tiferet Israel Synagogue.
Founded in 1872, the Tiferet Israel Synagogue was, along with the nearby Hurva Synagogue, destroyed by the Jordanians during the Israeli-Arab war in 1948.
The Hurva Synagogue was beautifully rebuilt and rededicated in 2010, and now it’s the turn of the Tiferet Israel Synagogue.
Prior to the cornerstone-laying ceremony, Israel conducted an archeological survey of the land where Tiferet Israel sits and found artifacts dating to the First and Second Temple periods.
The cornerstone used in the ceremony was taken from the actual remains of the destroyed Tiferet Israel Synagogue.
Speaking at the event, Housing Minister Uri Ariel said, “Today we have triumphed in the laying of yet another building block in the development of Jerusalem, a symbolic point in the vision that continues to come true before our eyes: ‘Renew our days as of old,’” a reference to Lamentations 5:21.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat added, “Today we lay the cornerstone of one of the important symbols of the Jewish community in Jerusalem. The Municipality attaches great importance to the preservation and restoration of heritage sites in Jerusalem, and we will continue to maintain the heritage of Israel in this city.”
Arab officials expressed outrage over what they called a further attempt to “Judaize” the city, and were especially concerned by the fact that the rebuilt Tiferet Israel Synagogue will sit higher than the Al Aqsa Mosque.