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Historic Synagogue Justo Sierra/Nidjei Israel

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Photo: Ymblanter on Wikimedia Commons 
Atzacoalco Walking Route
Barrio Atzacoalco
Walking Route

The Synagogue Justo Sierra is a beautiful old Jewish temple in Mexico City’s Historic Center. Only the second Ashkenazi synagogue, it’s the third synagogue to open in Mexico City. Jewish people began arriving to Mexico from multiple Eastern European countries during the Porfirato, although, of course, many had been in colonial and Independent Mexico even before. A small community settled in the historic center during the Revolution and they opened this temple in 1941.

Originally known as the Nidjei Israel Synagogue, today it’s a cultural center especially aimed at the Jewish community. It’s open to the public and guided tours and activities are a mainstay. In 2009, the temple community thoroughly restored the building. It remains one of the most beautifully decorated in the City.

The only synagogue to hold the title of “Historic Synagogue” in Mexico, it functioned as a center for prayer, study, celebration and community work until the mid-1960s. The temple then closed for more than 30 years and reopened as a community center only with the 2009 restoration. The dramatic interior is in a 19th-century Romanesque style which contrasts with the strong neo-colonial façade.

Today the Synagogue Justo Sierra attracts locals and international visitors. The site operates as a museum with relics and activities related to the practice of religion, culture, and they’re relation to broader Mexican society.

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