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Akhaltsikhe Synagogue

5 Reviews

Akhaltsikhe Synagogue

5 Reviews
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784iral wrote a review Aug. 2019
82 contributions20 helpful votes
It is a little hard to find. A ten minute walk from the Fort/Rabat. The caretaker was pleased to show us around - he does not speak english. This old synagogue is kept up and preserved. A pleasure to view the synagogue. Note there is a Mikvah (ritual bath) behind the synagogue. It is not in good repair, but testifies to the once vibrant community. There is a second synagogue across the street. It is in disrepair but is is not locked.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Karen S wrote a review Jun. 2019
New York City, New York5,189 contributions432 helpful votes
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Our amazing Georgian guide Malkhaz Inashvili took us in Akhaltsikhe to visit the 2 synagogues. One of the synagogues is abandoned. It last served as a boxing club meeting place. The other synagogue was locked but the caretaker was happy to come and open up the place to show us. It was renovated and it’s sad that as there are only 3 Jews left they can’t pray because they don’t have a minyan (10 men). He showed us a 500 year old Torah that they have. During the summer when a tour bus comes they can use the synagogue.
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Date of experience: June 2019
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TheFTrain wrote a review Dec. 2018
3 contributions1 helpful vote
The synagogue in Akhaltsikhe is a wonderful place to visit to better understand Jewish life in Georgia. It isn't as active as it once was, but it is filled with photographs of early Georgian Jews and traditional objects. The art and architecture is beautiful, and it is a quiet place of reflection for people of any faith. I was lucky to meet the caretaker and speak to him about his life, and if you get the chance, I recommend you do the same!
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Date of experience: June 2018
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Peter K wrote a review Jul. 2018
Southampton, Pennsylvania313 contributions140 helpful votes
After you will visited Rabati fortress and have extra time i recommend visit Akhaltsikhe synagogue.Oldest working Synagogue in Georgia. Unfortunately this place not always open. Only Three Jews still live in the town but Synagogue still work. Interior made mostly from wood ,but preserve in very good condition. There are two synagogues in Guramishvili Street close to Rabati Fortress – they are upper and lower synagogues. Their doors are also locked. The upper synagogue of Akhaltsikhe was constructed in 1863; in 2011 it received status of the cultural heritage. It is the oldest among the current synagogues in Georgia – it is 153 years old. In 2012, when the Rabat Fortress was reconstructed, the upper synagogue was also renovated when wooden elements were cleaned from oil paints and damaged parts of paintings were restored. Local Jewish Simon Revishvili opened the locked door of the synagogues in Akhaltsikhe. “In 1953, based on Stalin’s decree both synagogues were seized from us and they were locked. Two months later Stalin died. After Khrushchev became the head of the Soviet Union, he ordered to return only upper synagogue to us. This synagogue is functioning today and the state has assigned it to us for use,” Simon Revishvili said. According to Simon Revishvili, 3000-4000 Jewish persons lived in Akhaltsikhe during Soviet Time. Today only two families live in the town. Prayers are not conducted in the synagogue everyday because insufficient number of people. “In summer, when Jewish tourists arrive here, we conduct prayers almost every day. From November to April prayers are not conducted because of small number of people. However, I come here every day and open it,” Simon Revishvili said. Unlike the upper synagogue, the lower synagogue is abandoned and looted. The Jewish people request the state to assign it to them for use. The synagogue was constructed in 1902 and like the neighboring synagogue, it received the status of the cultural heritage in 2011. The locals recall that during the Soviet Union different institutions functioned in the building: a library, a cinema-club, a billiard hall and finally a boxing gym. “Today the building is abandoned.(rout-4u net)
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Date of experience: May 2018
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