The Grand Synagogue of Tunis (French: Grand synagogue de Tunis) is a synagogue inside the Tunisian capital of Tunis.

Grand Synagogue of Tunis
Geographic coordinates36°48′37″N 10°10′48″E / 36.81028°N 10.18000°E / 36.81028; 10.18000
Capacity400 people

History edit

20th century edit

Funeral of Rabbi Yacob Boccara [he] in 1941.

The idea for a synagogue was originally requested by the 19th-century Italian Jewish statesman Giacomo Di Castelnuovo [Wikidata], and finally established in 1937 by French architect Victor Valensi [fr], who chose to design it in the Art Deco architectural style.[1] The synagogue was shut down by Nazi Germany during the German occupation of Tunisia, but resumed operations after the country was liberated by Allied forces.[2]

In 1967, anti-Jewish rioters motivated by the then-ongoing Six-Day War trashed and looted the synagogue, burning it to the ground and destroying the sacred Torah scrolls, resulting in the abandonment of the building. In the 1990s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali funded the building's restoration.[1][2]

21st century edit

Rainbow arcing over the Grand Synagogue in 2016.

In 2011 Islamic extremist rioters attacked the synagogue and damaged it, chanting Khaybar, Khaybar during the riot.[1]

Tariq Ahmad, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon toured the Grand Synagogue during a two-day visit to Tunisia in early June 2022.[3] On 24 June 2022, a person ran towards the synagogue and stabbed two officers, lightly injuring them.[4][5] Authorities identified the stabbing as a terrorist attack and said its perpetrator had previously been arrested on terrorism and violence-related charges.[4][6]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Great Synagogue (Temple of Osiris) at Tunis, Tunisia | Archive |". Retrieved 2022-06-26.
  2. ^ a b "Great Synagogue at Tunis, Tunisia | Archive |". Retrieved 2022-06-26.
  3. ^ "Lord Ahmad visits Tunisia: June 2022". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2022-06-26.
  4. ^ a b "Two officers stabbed outside Tunisian synagogue". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2022-06-26.
  5. ^ "Two officers stabbed outside Grand Synagogue in Tunisia". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2022-06-24. Retrieved 2022-06-26.
  6. ^ "Tunisian officers stabbed near synagogue; suspect arrested". AP NEWS. 2022-06-24. Retrieved 2022-06-26.