Jewish city tours,
Tourist Services & Guides for Jewish Sites
in Central & South America


Address: Rua do Bom Jesus, 197/203
Phonenumber: (55) 81-3224-8351
Mail: [email protected]

The Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue (Hebrew: קהל צור ישראל, "Rock of Israel") dating from 1636, is the first synagogue in Latin America.

It is located at Rua do Bom Jesus, ancient “Jews Street” in the city of Recife, state of Pernambuco in Brazil.
Its facilities include today the "Historical Archive of Penambuco Judaic" in the district of Recife, in the historic city center.

The synagogue was abandoned in 1654 when the Portuguese dominated the Dutch, and under his rule and the Inquisition, deported all Jews from the city.

In September 2000, two centuries after the Jews resettled in Brazil, and almost four centuries after the synagogue was founded, archaeologists, led by Marcos Albuquerque, began excavations to find the remains of the ancient synagogue and finally, under eight floor levels to 80 centimeters of the current city land, they found the synagogue's original floor.

Another finding confirmed the locaton of an old mikveh, that followed all religious requirements and typical characteristics.

In 2001 the synagogue was rebuilt, using the same floor and some of its original walls from 1636.

Zur Israel today is the place of prayer for only 300 Jews living in Recife, and an interesting museum for visitors of the city.

Besides the objects and the temple itself, visitors can observe the different layers of floor found in the excavations through a glass surface, and the historical mikveh.

The archaeological material is from the 17th century.
The facade on the building is from the 19th century.

To read more about the archaeological discovery:

Visiting hours:
Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 5pm (entrance allowed until 4:30pm)
Sunday 2pm to 6pm (entrance allowed until 5:30pm)

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