Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel, Recife

Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel, Recife (must see)

Kahal Zur Israel, located in Recife, was the first Jewish congregation in the New World. It was established by immigrants from the Netherlands and joined by New Christians who were already living in the colony. There is now a museum on this site of the oldest synagogue site in the Americas.

From 1636 to 1654, the synagogue functioned on the site of the houses no. 197 and 203 Rua do Bom Jesus. It flourished in the mid-17th century when the Dutch briefly controlled this part of northeastern Brazil. The original synagogue building survived until the early 20th century when it was torn down. The site has been confirmed by an archaeological excavation. In 2001 the decision was made to create a Jewish museum in two story house with two shops located on the first floor then standing on the site of the old synagogue. The synagogue served a community of approximately 1,450 Jews. It had a cantor, Josue Velosino, and a rabbi, Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, sent to Recife in 1642.

The museum, built to resemble synagogues built in the 17th and 18th centuries by Jews from Spain and Portugal, opened in 2001. The synagogue is also at the center of a broader cultural renaissance. In November of every year, a Jewish festival offering dance, cinema, and food, from gefilte fish to fluden, attracts around 20,000 visitors.

Why You Should Visit:
To see a beautiful reconstruction of this first synagogue and watch informative videos.
All items shown including the educational part on the first floor are very well presented and you can spend plenty of time taking it all or just enjoying the beautiful historic atmosphere.

Tip:
Start on the top floor for the short movie that tells the history of Jews in Recife.
On the first floor, everything is written both in Portuguese and English, while upstairs it is just English so remember to also ask for an English brochure.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 9am-4:30pm; Sun: 2-5:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Recife, Brazil within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel on Map

Sight Name: Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel
Sight Location: Recife, Brazil
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Recife History Museums Walk   City Orientation Walk  

Walking Tours in Recife, Brazil

Create Your Own Walk in Recife

Create Your Own Walk in Recife

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City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Bairro Santo Antonio Walk in Recife

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Recife Culture and Art Museums Walk

Recife Culture and Art Museums Walk

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Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Recife History Museums Walk

Recife History Museums Walk

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Travel Distance: 5.4 km
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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Bairro do Recife Walk

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km