Synagogue Models (3)

This is the 3rd stamp in a series of four stamps featuring synagogue models from the display at Tel Aviv's Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora. It displays the model of the Tiempo lsraelitico in Florence, Italy.

With the spread of Emancipation in the late 18th century, Jews emerged from the ghettos into which they had been confined, and were recognized as equal citizens. Their synagogues were now magnificent and prominent buildings. In this way, the Jews wanted to make a public demonstration of their equality, but at the same time to emphasize their distinctiveness as Jews they frequently adopted oriental styles of architecture. The main such activity was in Germany where 200 fine synagogues were erected in the 19th century, only to be destroyed by the Nazis in the 2Oth. A famous example of this type of synagogue is the Tiempo lsraelitico in Florence, a landmark even in that city.

The oriental motifs can be clearly seen in its dome, turrets and horse-shoe arches and the theme is carried on in the interior with its multicoloured mosaics and tiles. Prominently displayed on its exterior, as in many of these buildings, were the two Tablets of the Law, seen as of more universal import than the seven-branched candelabrum favoured in previous ages.

The stamp was issued in 1987. Designer: D. Ben-Dov.