The Italian Synagogue - 27 Rehov Hillel

In 1952 the synagogue of the Italian town Conegliano Veneto, north of Venice, was reconsecrated on the second floor of the former Schmidt School building on Rehov Hillel, adjacent to the Ma'aleh Religious High School. The original synagogue was built in 1701. The Italian Synagogue, located in the Schmidt Compound, was built in 1887 as part of the Christian European construction outside the Jerusalem walls, and functioned until 1910 as a dormitory for girls named for Father Schmidt. The ark and original furniture were brought by Umberto Nahon, who was the head of the Organization of Italian Jews at the time. The ark, approximately 370 years old, is made of wood decorated with artistic carvings in restrained Baroque style. Over the years, items of Judaica from Italy were collected and stored in the rooms adjacent to the synagogue. In 1982 the Italian Jewish Museum was opened to preserve the Italian Jewish heritage. The museum displays objects of many kinds, dating from the 15th century to the present. In the late 1980s restoration work continued, and the women's gallery was restored to its original form. The services of the Italian Jewish community in Jerusalem are conducted in the synagogue on Shabbat and holidays, following the Italian rite, evidently a continuation of the ancient liturgical tradition of Eretz Israel.