Ancient synagogue in Libya being turned into Islamic centre, Jewish group says
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Ancient synagogue in Libya being turned into Islamic centre, Jewish group says

Abandoned former shul is being converted without permission, the World organisation of the Jews of Libya said.

Tripoli (Wikipedia/Source: originally posted to Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/2269421369 / 
Author	Bryn Jones / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)
Tripoli (Wikipedia/Source: originally posted to Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/2269421369 / Author Bryn Jones / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)

An abandoned and ancient synagogue in Libya is being turned into an Islamic religious centre without permission, the World organisation of the Jews of Libya said.

David Gerbi, a Libya-born Italian Jew and member of the organisation, which promotes the interests of people belonging to the Libyan Jewish Diaspora, wrote about the Sla Dar Bishi in Tripoli last week in a report published by Moked, a Jewish publication in Italy.

“Since there is now no Jew living in Tripoli and since the power is in the hands of the local authorities (read: Militias) it was decided to violate our property and our history,” he wrote. “The plan clearly is to take advantage of the chaos and our absence.”

Gerbi said The World organisation of Jews in Libya “calls for this transformation to be stopped immediately and to leave the Tripoli synagogue intact with the hope that one day it will be restored.”

Contacts on the ground provided Gerbi with pictures and videos over the past three months that have convinced him that the synagogue is being taken over illegally, he said

The central government in Libya, a former colony of Italy in northern Africa, has collapsed since the 2011 overthrow and execution of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled the country with an iron fist since 1969. The revolution sparked intermittent fighting between clans and militias with competing claims to leadership.

Libya once had about 40,000 Jews, who left following the establishment of the State of Israel.

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more:
comments