The digital venture, called Diarna, takes you back to painstakingly revived synagogues and destinations once lost to history

SMITHSONIAN MAG
Inside the Incredible Effort to Recreate Historic Jewish Sites Destroyed Years Ago
by Dara Horn
June 2020

On a narrow street in Damascus, one of the oldest cities in the world, I pull open a heavy iron door in a cinderblock wall and enter an ancient synagogue. Behind the door, just past a tiled courtyard shaded by a large tree, I am stunned by what I see. I’m standing inside a jewel box. The small room is illuminated by dozens of elaborate beaded chandeliers; its walls are covered with thick red velvet draperies, its stone floor with richly patterned carpets. In front of me is a large flat stone topped with a golden menorah: Here, an inscription informs me, the Hebrew prophet Elijah anointed his successor Elisha, as described in the biblical Book of Kings. READ MORE

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