Tourist and Olim-Friendly Synagogues in Tel Aviv
Posted by Gil Travel on Mar 4, 2019 7:02:00 AM
Visiting Tel Aviv’s synagogues can be an interesting experience both as a tourist and Ole-Hadash. One of Israel’s oldest Jewish cities and among the largest tourist attraction, finding a friendly synagogue out of all the numerous options is easy and fun.
As Tel Aviv is considered to be a great tourist location and Olim main hub for work and a young lifestyle many of the local synagogues are reaching out to internationals to join their communities and are often tailored towards English, French, and other languages.
There are many local and international synagogues in Tel Aviv, and their doors are always open. They take pride in being synagogues for all Jews, across the religious spectrum, from reform synagogues in Tel Aviv to egalitarian or Dati Leumi, bridging the gap between religious and non-religious, many of them being either modern, progressive, or egalitarian.
In many synagogues, you can experience a proper Shabbat, holidays, minchah on a weekday, or even celebrate a Bar Mitzvah for a family member. If you are looking for a Bar Mitzva celebration check out our Bar Mitzvah tours in Israel.
Among these wonderful synagogues are the Hechal Yehuda Synagogue, the Kehila Synagogue of Ramat Aviv, Havurat Tel Aviv, Kehilat Tiferet Shalom, Goren Shul, and Yakar, as well as the non-profit and the egalitarian communities, such as Minyan Shivyoni or White City Shabbat, which are working to bring people together and hold communal dinners, including vegetarian meals.
Additionally, many of these synagogues are located in some of the most famous streets in Tel Aviv, find out more about these famous Tel Aviv Streets in this post.
Are there reform synagogues in Israel?
While there aren’t as many reform synagogues in Israel as there are in America, there are 40 communities and congregations in Israel today that are affiliated with Reform Judaism. Pluralism has been growing in Israel, and you’re sure to find what you need in the country regardless of your religious affiliation.
How many synagogues are there in Tel Aviv?
Jerusalem is often considered the center of Jewish life in Israel, but Tel Aviv still has its fair share of beautiful and welcoming synagogues to explore. Tel Aviv has around 500 active synagogues and most of them are open all week long.
Let’s check out a few other tourist and Olim-friendly synagogues.
In the Zeitlin School in Central Tel Aviv, you’ll find our first friendly house of worship that opened its doors to all who seek a synagogue to call their own. This is one of the more interesting and open synagogues in Tel Aviv.
This liberal Orthodox synagogue welcomes everyone, and a great number of non-traditional families come to pray here as well, including members from the LGBTQ community.
It offers weekly Shabbat services and services for the High Holy Days. Yachad will warmly welcome you too.
Beit Daniel (Progressive Reform Synagogues)
This flourishing community was founded in 1991, with three progressive reform centers: Beit Daniel in northern Tel Aviv, Mishkenot Ruth Daniel in Jaffa, and Kehilat Halev in central Tel Aviv.
The goal of the Daniel Centers is to be a positive force that brings egalitarian, inclusive, and modern Judaism to Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and to offer a progressive cultural and spiritual alternative to Orthodoxy that is equally traditional but also mindful of the needs of Jews living in a modern secular society.
They offer religious services, various educational programs, an immersive volunteer-learning program, a pluralistic Jewish curriculum for local secular public schools, as well as an artistic-educational project and exhibition that promotes pluralism and coexistence in dozens of schools throughout Israel, and much more.
The Great Synagogue
Located in Central Tel Aviv, this Tel Aviv synagogue is located just east of the Shalom Tower. The Tel Aviv Great Synagogue is one of the most beautiful synagogues in Tel Aviv. It was completed in 1926, and due to the 1960s emigration of local residents, it was forgotten for a while, with very few people attending services here.
However, there is an ongoing effort to bring people back to the Great Synagogue. You can be one of 350 people to enjoy the bi-monthly Friday night meals here. Weekly minyanim on Shabbat day and Kabbalat Shabbats have resumed as well. Also, many public figures have decided to get married at the Great Synagogue.
The Tel Aviv International Synagogue (TAIS)
Built in 1931 and housed at the historic Beit El Synagogue, the Tel Aviv International Synagogue is one of the five oldest synagogues in Tel Aviv. It’s a lively Modern Orthodox synagogue where the service is conducted in English and Hebrew.
TAIS is based on acceptance and mutual respect, and it welcomes Jews of all backgrounds to come and enjoy the diverse and dynamic spiritual, cultural, social, and educational programs and services. It already has a large community that includes singles, couples, families, tourists, olim, and Israelis – thousands of Jews from all backgrounds and from over thirty countries of the world.
The North Central Synagogue and Community Center (NCS)
One of our favorite Tel Aviv synagogues, the North Central Synagogue and Community Center is another ideal and diverse community for internationals and Israelis, both English and Hebrew speakers, to become a part of.
Everybody is welcome! Regardless of your observances and your familiarity with Jewish traditions, you can enjoy a variety of spiritual, cultural, and educational programs here, including the large social Friday night Shabbat dinners for young professionals from around the world.
Ichud Shivat Zion
Ichud Shivat Zion is a large beautiful synagogue on Ben Yehuda and home to several communities, including Minyan Ichud Olam – a growing, diverse, and dynamic Modern Orthodox community of young families and professionals from many different countries and cultures – internationals and native Israelis – and from all across the religious spectrum.
They take pride in being an open, warm, and friendly community that promotes a dialogue between the religious and the secular aspects of society; a community that offers numerous religious, social, communal, and educational activities, where all Jews are welcome, whether they eat kosher food or not, and where different expressions of Yiddishkeit are encouraged.
They have special services for French and Italian Communities on the second floor as well.
Chabad on the Coast
If you’re looking for a Chabab synagogue in Tel Aviv, Chabad on the Coast is Tel Aviv’s first English-speaking Chabad House and it mostly serves the English-speaking community.
As they state on their website, their goal is “to infuse Tel Aviv with vibrant Jewish life”, to inspire Jews everywhere, to learn together, grow together, and connect to their Jewish heritage.
They organize various social events, Torah classes, Shabbat and holiday services and meals, events for young professionals, many children’s programs, and much more. Rabbi Eli and Rebbetzin Sara Naiditich always keep the door open, providing a welcoming atmosphere for every Jew, from every geographical and cultural background.
Hechal Yehuda Synagogue
This Synagogue is a great place to spend Shabbat in Tel Aviv. It’s commonly known as the Recanati Synagogue and is in the city center. It’s famous for its strange shape. In fact, some say it’s shaped like a seashell!
The design is inspired by the shells on the shores of Thessaloniki, a Greek city that was the hometown of the family of the synagogues architect, Yitzhak Toledano.
The synagogue was built in memory of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki after they were decimated by The Holocaust. Many of the current worshippers are Greek-Sephardic Jews whose families came from Thessaloniki. This synagogue is affiliated with orthodox Judaism.
To sum it all up there are many friendly synagogues in Tel Aviv for Olim and tourists and this could be a great location for your next vacation along the nice warm coastline of the city while soaking in the best atmosphere the city has to offer.
Additionally, for those that are on the look for a unique family experience and a fun Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel this post can give you more ideas for Bar Mitzvah tours in Israel.
Hope to see you on your next tour to Israel - Gil Travel Group
Topics: Israel Travel