Ancient Synagogues Of The Golan
In all ancient Land of Israel "there is no part … which offers a more fertile field for antiquarian research than that portion lying to the east of the Jordan." Thus wrote Laurence Oliphant in the New York Sun newspaper in 1885.
Although he didn't know it. Oliphant was foretelling the future. He explored the Golan in the days when archaeology was in its infancy, and together with Gottlieb Schumacher, he was able to discover four ancient synagogues. 120 years have passed since their visit to the Golan, but the archeologists' shovels are still digging in the basalt-filled earth and discovering its magnificent past. Oliphant and Shumacher were the first to discover ancient synagogues. In the aftermath of the Six-Day War, the region was opened to surveys and excavations, and today the number of discovered ancient synagogues in the Golan is close to 30 – almost one-fourth of all the synagogues in Israel from the Byzantine Period. Their numbers, as well as their grandeur, surprised the researchers; for the literary sources that colorfully describe the Galilee, are silent when it comes to the Jewish community in the Golan. Researchers of the Golan Heights are faced with the challenge of trying to get the ancient buildings to"talk" to them…
This book presents for the first time – for the lover of the land and the book – a comprehensive summary of the current information on the subject, and it offers the reader a peek into the period which was the "Golden Age " of ancient Jewish communities in the Golan.
Eleven sites out of all the ancient synagogues found in the Golan – are described in detail, and the information on the rest of the synagogues is condensed into one chapter at the end of the book.