The Synagogue

sl018Welcome to Etz Hayyim Synagogue, Hania

Until 1999 Etz Hayyim was a desecrated house of prayer that remained the sole Jewish monument on the Island of Crete after the destruction of our Jewish community in 1944. Essentially it stood as a monument to the success of the Nazis in obliterating 2300 years of Jewish life on the Island of Crete. From 1996 until the year of its re-dedication in 1999 the structure has been painstakingly restored. The philosophy that directed this work is summed up in the Hebrew – ‘Am Israel Hayy’ – ‘The people of Israel Live’. Today it stands as a vibrant statement of Jewish life, vitality and values, whereas yesterday it was still mentioned on the World Monument Fund’s list of most endangered sites!

Since the time of its re-dedication Etz Hayyim has quickly assumed an important role as a place of prayer, reconciliation and as a resource center.

We invite you to share in the many facets of its new life.

When visiting we ask that you keep in mind the following…

  • This is an active Synagogue and visitors are required to dress appropriately. When entering the Synagogue men must have their heads covered, and woman their shoulders.
  • Food and/or drinks are not allowed in the Synagogue.
  • Groups of more than ten people will NOT be allowed at the same time
  • Tours¬†within the Synagogue will be given by Synagogue Staff and Volunteers ONLY.
  • The Synagogue is volunteer based, and needs your support to remain open. A minimum donation of 2 Euro per person is suggested.
  • Synagogue Staff and Volunteers have the right to deny access to groups or individuals that do not conform to the rules of the Synagogue or for safety reasons.

We invite you to also look at the links for the outline on Religious Observations at Etz Hayyim, as well as the Kosher Information.

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